Smeal Strategic Plan 2 0 0 8 -2 0 1 3
Education with Impact
The Smeal Vision
To p F i v e P u b l i c
with Society with Distinction
Investing in excellence.
Table of Contents
Dean’s Introduction (2)
I. Executive Summary (4)
II. Overview (9)
A. Organization of the Plan (9)
B. Defining a ‘Top 5 Public’ (9)
C. Planning Process (12)
III. Vision/Goals (15)
A. Vision (15)
B. Goals in Focus (16)
C. Initiatives in Progress (21)
IV. Priorities/Initiatives (22)
A. Extraordinary Education (22)
B. Research with Impact (35)
C. Dialogue with Society (39)
D. Community with Distinction (43)
E. Cross-Goal Themes (48)
V. Conclusion (57)
VI. Metrics (58)
Appendix A: Composite Top 5 Program Comparison (61)
Appendix B: Big Ten Comparison (62)
Appendix C: Planning Unit Questionnaire (63)
Appendix D: Strategic Planning Council Members (65)
Appendix E: Initiatives in Progress (66)
Appendix F: Proposal for a New Integrative Business Studies (IBUS) Major (68)
Appendix G: A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State (72)
We will need to question what research with impact really means regarding our scholarship.
Quality in the eyes of the academy should be matched with quality of ideas for the corporate
community (e.g., how does this new theory translate into practice?). “Research with impact”
means more than A-level publications; it also means being able to articulate how our work
makes a difference.
We can do this by driving a deeper and more complex dialogue with society. Enhancing our
research centers’ roles in articulating the value of our research to an external audience will be
key; it will be a vehicle for a much wider and deeper dialogue. But there is more to a dialogue
than just enhancing the impact of our research. It is also about enhancing learning and the value
of the education we provide. Encouraging and facilitating students to engage in creative real-
world experiences in their education will be not just appropriate, but equally as critical. It will
mean bringing the world to Smeal.
How we think of the context in which this all plays out will be as important as any of the
strategic goals. Building a community with distinction will set the stage for not just such a
context, but for a Smeal brand. It is a community that values integrity, diversity, and learning.
How we conduct our professional lives as faculty, students, staff, and advisers in this context
makes community the root of our “Top 5 Public” vision. It is a community populated by
“towering scholars” who value research and learning, a passionate staff, and students who think
of us for life, not just while they are with us.
But we must be clear that enhancing “quality” across these goals will mean cultural and physical
shifts. How we teach (e.g., new pedagogies); how we write (e.g., with an eye toward what it
means to the manager); even who we are, are all called into question as these shifts play out. And
there must be long-term investment in additional faculty and strong enrollment goals that will
facilitate our ability to provide a top learning environment. That’s what this plan attempts to
This plan is not just a collection of parochial plans. It identifies themes and initiatives that cut
across units and are important to Smeal goal attainment and University expectations (e.g.,
assessment, interdisciplinary communities, etc.).
In the end, we will move forward through investing in and expecting “towering scholarship”
from our faculty with support from our staff and administration. This plan is about top research,
an exceptional education with currency and rigor, a culture that expects honor and respect from
all its members, top staff, and programs of outreach and inclusion that demonstrate our strengths
and status. These elements, in turn, will be reflected in our promotion, reward, and hiring
decisions. It is what a top program is all about.
James B. Thomas, Dean
Smeal College of Business
I. Executive Summary
Our vision for the Smeal College of Business is to become one of the “Top 5 Public” business
schools in the nation. To achieve this vision, the college will focus on accomplishing four
fundamental goals: providing an extraordinary education for our students, supporting and
producing top research that impacts the academy and society, continuing to build a rich
dialogue with society, and growing a diverse community defined by distinction, honor, and
To formulate the five-year strategic plan, each of the college’s 27 planning units crafted their
unit plans to maximize the ability of the college to reach each goal. A 53-member Strategic
Planning Council was formed to review the units’ plans, recommend cross-unit initiatives, and
establish college-level strategic competencies, investment priorities, and tactics to reach the
vision of a “Top 5 Public” program.
To achieve the four goals that make up that vision, we have identified the following priorities
and initiatives at the college level to undertake for each goal. The page number where each
priority/initiative is addressed in greater detail is noted in parentheses.
• Student/Faculty Ratio (p. 22)
o Move to a 5,000 undergraduate enrollment steady-state.
o Hire to approximately 150 full-time faculty (from the current 136) to have an S/F
ratio approaching those of our peers (approximately 35:1, improved from 44:1).
• Professional Development (p. 24)
o Create the Institute for Student Professional Development.
o Make a requirement the college’s Career Planning Strategies Course (BA297A), a
one-credit course designed for the professional development of our students.
• Interdisciplinary Learning (p. 25)
o Scale and improve “Analyzing Business and Industry” (BA411) to become a
centerpiece for all majors at the college.
• New Major (p. 25)
o Create the Integrative Business Studies major to reside in the restructured
Department of Insurance and Real Estate and provide increased choice for
• Learning Assessment (p. 26)
o Commit to continually enhancing the assessment of student learning in each of
our educational programs.
o Craft surveys to assess senior-level students’ confidence in meeting Smeal’s
o Conduct concept inventories to gauge students’ understanding of business
o Add items to the Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE) surveys to
include questions on the Smeal Honor Code and course rigor.
o Organize and train undergraduate students to participate in Innovation and Quality
o Create a “Learning@Smeal” Web site to support innovation in learning programs.
o Conduct workshops to introduce faculty to the design and management of
interactive learning in large classes along with a series of workshops on
developing appropriate concept tests and inventories.
• Curricula (p.30)
o Examine our courses and programs for relevance and consider all options,
o Implement program changes in the MBA program to improve the rigor of the
program and further develop the skills sought by MBA recruiters.
o Grow the Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management, a 30-
credit specialized master’s degree program.
o Explore the development of an online Masters of Entrepreneurship focused at
both business and non-business enrollment
o Adopt the Undergraduate Curriculum Revision Task Force recommendations to
move the business foundation courses from the junior year to the first two years
o Review the design of each major.
o Introduce the Master of Accounting (MAcc) Program to meet changing
accounting licensing regulations, including recent Pennsylvania State legislation.
• Assistant Dean/Director of Learning (p. 35)
o Create a position responsible for directing innovations and improvements in all
aspects of learning.
• Identify and award endowments for learning.
Research with Impact:
• Expand the number of endowed professorships to cover all tenured research active
faculty members and increase existing endowments that currently provide only modest
support (p. 37).
• Name a committee to review faculty members on a rotating basis to determine if they are
research active (p. 38).
• Implement greater variance in merit pay raises based on research performance (p. 38).
• Increase doctoral stipends to be on par with those at top public business schools (p. 38).
Dialogue with Society
• Conveying Research (p. 39)
o Put into place new incentives to encourage faculty members to submit their
research to publications that appeal to practitioners as well as other researchers.
o Work to publicize the newsworthy non-research impacts of Smeal.
o Expand communications staff to increase Smeal’s visibility with alumni,
practitioners, and public officials.
• Globalization (p. 40)
o Identify three to four regional partner universities to work with in developing
programs and initiatives generated by multiple Smeal units.
o Explore the creation of a Smeal International Council.
• Information Technology Support (p. 40)
o Focus the college’s internal technical support team, the RIIT Group, in four areas:
innovation, IT simplification, governance, and communication.
o Create a $5 to $10 million endowment to support learning innovation through IT.
• New/Revised Units (p. 41)
o Explore the creation of a sustainability-focused research center.
o Launch the Center for Sports Business & Research, a new research center
dedicated to the study of sports business and defining educational opportunities
o Focus Penn State Executive Programs on demonstrating the ability to develop
deep, long-term partner relationships.
Community with Distinction
• Concentrate efforts in Human Resources on new employee orientation, career coaching,
career development programs, succession planning, employee recognition programs,
alternative work schedules, and e-learning (p. 43).
• Diversity (p. 44)
o Undertake several new initiatives in diversity, including developing a database on
underrepresented minority alumni, creating an undergraduate diversity student
peer-mentoring program, and forming a tutoring and mentoring program for
“change of location” students.
• Mentoring (p. 46)
o Launch a new online social-networking community (SmealConnect) consisting of
Smeal students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends.
• Making Connections—Smeal for Life (p. 47)
o Explore a new alumni marketing campaign called “Smeal for Life.”
While the above initiatives are linked to the achievement of specific goals, there are themes (and
related initiatives) that cut across the goals and at once help address all goals and the higher-
order vision-achieving efforts of the college.
• Learning (p. 48)
o Lay the foundations of a program to transform undergraduate learning: That
means two to three prototypes will be created and tried by faculty and student
teams, plus a structure for assessment and budgeting time, money, and other
o Form Student Quality Teams involving 300 to 400 students per semester that
assist faculty members in feedback, design, and identifying learning opportunities.
• International Business (IB) (p. 49)
o Increase the number of students who study abroad to at least 33 percent by the
end of the planning period.
o Create a position at the college level (e.g., Director for International Business
Programs), which would signal our growing commitment to IB.
o Establish the Smeal International Council.
o Reorganize and expand the Study Abroad Office.
• “Towering Scholarship” refers to a focus on having a community of top researchers and
the support that such a faculty needs (p. 51).
o Hire an expanded core of faculty focused on top scholars.
o Expand endowed support for all tenured faculty.
o Create an annual award for “Towering Scholarship”—one each for tenure/tenure-
track faculty, fixed-term faculty, and staff.
• Integrity (p. 52)
o Over the last few years, the college has developed, piloted, and fully implemented
an honor code with our MBA students and has piloted the code at the
undergraduate level over the last year. Now we make it part of our culture and
value platform for the community.
• Development (p. 54)
o Within the University-wide campaign objectives, Smeal has established goals to
help ensure that we can be competitive with other elite business schools in our
approaches to education and research and what we see as “top” as outlined in this
Smeal is stepping well beyond traditional views of business scholarship and education, here. It is
engaging in creating a “Top 5” culture of teaching, research, and service—in ways that go beyond the
formulas of popular press rankings. It is also asking the University to go beyond the traditional
assumptions that guide many policy and budget decisions. The plan is a case for “Investing in Smeal,”
for helping the college realize its full potential, and for the means to allow the Smeal Community to
define its own culture of excellence.
A. Organization of the Plan
With a focus on providing extraordinary education, creating research with impact, building a
dialogue with society, and fostering a community with distinction, Smeal’s strategic plan charts a
course for making the college one of the “Top 5 Public” business schools in the nation over the
next five years.
Section II lays out where we currently stand relative to our peers and offers a brief summary of
the vision and goals that will close the gap between Smeal and the current top programs. This
section also explains the process by which we arrived at the strategic ends and means described
in the plan.
Section III explains in much greater detail that reaching “Top 5” status will not be measured
solely by the myriad college rankings reported in the popular media; rather, the college is
focused on achieving distinction by realizing goals that define academic quality.
To accomplish this overarching goal of excellence, Section IV puts forth specific priorities and
initiatives for each area that will move us toward a top status. This section also describes
“higher-order” themes, which transcend the specific goal boundaries and impact the entire
college. Focusing on these integrative themes is vital to the success of each of the four areas’
priorities and initiatives.
Together, from the broad focus areas of education, research, dialogue, and community, to the
detail of student/faculty ratio and doctoral stipends, this plan is a blueprint for continuing and
enhancing excellence at Smeal, and positioning the college among the “Top 5 Public” business
schools in the nation.
B. Defining ‘Top 5 Public’
Our vision at Smeal is to be a “Top 5 Public.” Measured in various ways, this vision is
achievable through our work on four fundamental goals over the next five years:
• Providing an extraordinary education for our students
• Supporting and producing top research that impacts the academy and society
• Continuing to build a rich dialogue with society
‘Top 5 Public’ Programs
have scholars who make a difference in • Growing a diverse community defined by
their field(s), inspire in the classroom, distinction, honor, and respect
and are leaders in the college and larger
intellectual communities—they are A “Composite Top 5 Public” program was constructed
“Towering Scholars.” “Top 5 Public”
programs have faculty, staff, and
to allow benchmarking on various dimensions. Drawn
students who are supported through generally from statistics available through data from the
budgets and endowments that help them Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
to be the best. (AACSB) and ratings media sources (e.g.,
BusinessWeek), this work compares averages of top peer
institutions and Smeal along various dimensions. “Top 5 Public” is a metaphor for being a
program that is performing at a similar or superior level on various dimensions to those programs
that are considered as being “Top 5 Public” business schools in the media rankings for
undergraduate and MBA. These programs include:
• University of California, Berkeley*
• University of Michigan*
• University of North Carolina*
• University of Texas*
• University of Virginia*
• University of California, Los Angeles (MBA only)*
• Indiana University
• University of Wisconsin
• Ohio State University
• Michigan State University
• University of Illinois
*Considered “Top 5 Public” in media rankings
There are, of course, other publics and privates that can contribute to our aspirational model, and
they have been utilized in unit plans. However, for the college’s overall plan, below we have
defined a set of “Dimensions of Excellence,” and we have incorporated those dimensions in our
“Top 5 Public” means taking a leadership position in those attributes that define excellence and
that, as a community and as a top public university, are critical for being a preeminent program.
That’s why these dimensions drive much of the thinking in this plan. Dimensions of comparison
with peers that are available publicly include:
• Class size (student/faculty ratio)
• Publications per faculty (total, in top journals, and impact)
• Classroom rigor (BusinessWeek’s “Academic Quality” survey)
• Contemporary curricula (Web site reviews)
• Placement and starting salaries
Other dimensions of excellence we support include:
• Learning leadership (e.g., pedagogy, student development, and instructional support)
• Research impact (e.g., citation indices)
• Diversity and climate (as indicated by climate assessment)
• Integrative thinking (cross-program and thematic leveraging of content)
• Curricular customization (choice within our resources)
• Advising (customized for the individual student)
• Assessment and continuous improvement
The following chart is a snapshot of how the college currently compares across a set of
dimensions with other business schools. The comparison is done through creating a “composite
program” along various dimensions from schools recommended by Smeal’s academic
departments (see list above). We also look at the average of the Big Ten programs. More detailed
information on the colleges included in the composite average and Big Ten average is included
in Appendixes A and B.
DIMENSIONS OF EXCELLENCE: BUSINESS SCHOOL COMPARISON
Indicators Smeal Average of Average of
Composite Big Ten
Top 5 Schools2
Operating Budget (2006-07) $48,745,959 $73,925,554 $63,169,825
Business School Endowment (2006-07) $72,958,336 $292,650,487 $147,440,296
Participating Faculty (2007-08)1 124 140 113
Full-Time Enrollment (2007-08):
Undergraduate 5,492 1,494 2,860
MBA 174 661 320
Executive MBA 100 188 132
Special Master's 30 196 186
Doctoral 69 59 76
Total Full-Time Enrollment 5,865 2,446 3,465
Undergraduate Full-Time Enrollment to Faculty 44.3 10.7 25.4
Total Full-Time Enrollment to Faculty Ratio 47.3 17.5 30.8
A participating faculty member actively engages in the activities of the school in matters beyond direct teaching responsibilities.
Such matters might include policy decisions, educational directions, advising, research, and service commitments.
Smeal’s operating budget is 34 percent less than the average of the composite “Top 5” programs,
yet our enrollment is almost two and half times greater, and our undergraduate enrollment is
more than three and half times greater than the average at top five programs. Among Big Ten
schools, we have twice the average undergraduate enrollment, but we operate with only a little
more than three-quarters of their average budget. Smeal’s student/faculty ratio is almost three
times the average at “Top 5” schools and more than 50 percent higher than the Big Ten average.
C. Planning Process
The planning process of the college can be represented in the graphic below. Driven by a vision
of being a “Top 5 Public” program and a series of strategic goals, each of the college’s 27
planning units crafted its unit plan to maximize the ability of the college to reach each goal.
Details of the planning process are described in this section.
In June 2007, Provost Erickson sent a note to all University-level units asking them to engage in
a strategic planning process that would result in an articulation, and an implementation plan, for
where the unit would be in five years. Responding to that memo, two committees of faculty and
administrators were engaged at Smeal to begin to flesh out a vision and a set of goals for the
college. These discussions of the strategic direction of Smeal were derived from earlier
discussions and initiatives begun in the fall of 2006. The general concepts that resulted from
those discussions were presented in fall 2007 to Smeal’s Board of Visitors (BOV) and Penn
State’s Board of Trustees.
The feedback from all of the bodies involved was then presented to the Management Committee
at Smeal in December 2007, and the request for comments at that meeting was met with many
suggestions and insights during the meeting and afterward. Those comments have been included
in various ways and places in the current planning document.
Based on all of these discussions, a planning template
was prepared and distributed to all 27 planning units of
Strategic Planning Council
Smeal, including research centers, academic departments,
and Core Group
support units, and programs. A series of questions
Chaired by Dean
General Membership (Appendix C) was posed as a basis for the plans that each
• Entire Committee unit prepared. Parallel to this effort were sessions with
• Core Group the college’s Board of Visitors to discuss vision, goals,
Core Group Membership and the preliminary results of all the unit plans.
• Committee Co-chairs
• Senior Associate Dean
• Faculty Advisory Committee To review the plans (including the input from the Smeal
Chair Board), a Strategic Planning Council (SPC) was formed.
• Staff Advisory Committee The 53-member SPC consisted of a “core” group and five
Chair committees: a committee representing each of the four
• Board of Visitors Chair and
strategic goals of the college and a fifth committee
• Business Round Table Chair representing budget and infrastructure issues/assessment
• Vice Provost for Educational (complete membership is found in Appendix D). The
Equity “core” group represented our various stakeholders as well
as the chairs of the committees that provided
recommendations and insights for each of the strategic
goal domains. While the SPC was composed of the core and the members of all the committees,
getting fifty-three members together was impossible, if not unproductive. Accordingly, after an
initial kickoff meeting of all members, the SPC meetings were primarily with the core (see
sidebar). Committee chairs were responsible for their own committee meetings and represented
their respective committees at the SPC meetings.
The SPC was given the following objectives:
1) Assess each unit’s plan in terms of its ability to help the college realize its goals and
determine priorities for the college in terms of emphasis and investment.
2) Explore and recommend cross-unit initiatives that would help to more efficiently and
effectively implement the college’s goals.
3) Establish college-level strategic competencies, investment priorities, and critical tactics to
reach the vision of a “Top 5 Public” program.
In early spring 2008, each committee presented its review of the twenty-seven plans. The
priorities that these committees recommended are presented in Section IV. A fifth committee
(Budget and Infrastructure), using these priorities and unit-specific requests, continued to craft a
long-term budget for investment in each unit.
In late April, looking at tentative budgets and after discussions with the SPC, a request was made
to the provost to delay the plan’s delivery date of July 1 to prepare a different view of the
college’s structure, budget model, and its role in the larger University community. A committee
of faculty and administrators met in June and July to discuss what those alternatives might look
The planning cycle was completed with drafts of the strategic plan being distributed to the SPC
and the full BOV, and a meeting was held to discuss their insights and input. With this input
included, a second draft was distributed to the whole Smeal Community, and an open meeting
was arranged to get feedback prior to the submission of the plan to Old Main. That feedback is
included in this version of the plan.
The vision at Smeal is to be a “Top 5 Public.” Measured in various ways, this vision is
achievable by focusing on four fundamental goals over the next five years:
• Providing an extraordinary education for our students
• Supporting and producing top research that impacts the academy and society
• Continuing to build a rich dialogue with society
• Growing a community with distinction, honor, diversity, and respect
This is summarized in the image below. In this section, each of the elements in this image are
defined in greater detail, ending with a summary of initiatives already begun to achieve our
vision and goals.
“Top 5 Public” programs are defined by their scholars who make a difference in their field(s),
inspire in the classroom, and are leaders in the college and larger intellectual communities. Top 5
programs have faculty, staff, and students who are supported through budgets and endowments
that provide the resources necessary to excel at extraordinary levels.
At all levels of education, top programs have curricula that are known for emphasizing learning,
currency, and rigor. Implementation of such an expectation set includes supporting and
demanding top research, promoting integrity, facilitating professional development, providing
passionate and rigorous instruction, and supporting applied learning with challenging content and
All of this must happen in a context that
Smeal Rankings includes top facilities, manageable class
sizes, a competitive student/faculty ratio,
supportive infrastructure, advising
BusinessWeek 38 overall / 13 public excellence, and communication, as well
U.S. News & World Report 21 overall / 12 public as a culture that values integrity,
diversity, and learning.
BusinessWeek Second Tier While rankings in popular publications
U.S. News & World Report 40 overall / 19 public such as BusinessWeek are important
Financial Times 28 overall / 12 public
benchmarks, they are not the sole metric
Executive Programs of vision achievement. We have, from
Economist Intelligence Unit 1 custom / 3 open the beginning of the planning process,
been driven by what we as a community
see as important in a top program. So
while what BusinessWeek measures as criteria for top programs is insightful (e.g., student/faculty
ratio), we also engage in initiatives and investments that we believe are important as a top
program (e.g., honor code).
B. Goals in Focus
In this section, each goal is expanded, including specific characteristics that help to define each
goal. A later section discusses key initiatives that will help the college realize these goals.
An extraordinary education is one that is personalized and flexible; is delivered by outstanding
faculty using state-of-the-art teaching methods and technology; provides instructional
experiences that are interactive, challenging, and relevant; and can be applied to the business
issues of both today and tomorrow.
Such an education provides its students with professional development, exposure to top
executives in the field, interactive learning environments, and class sizes, when possible, that
facilitate participation and expression (including writing and action-learning opportunities).
An extraordinary education:
• occurs with not just an expectation of honor but also a passion for integrity that will
last the student a lifetime;
• is individualized (instructors are active through office hours and engaging students
outside of the classroom);
• offers rigorous, contemporary curricula;
• takes on themes that include globalization, integrative thinking, technology,
leadership, and ethics;
• creatively uses technology (e.g., ANGEL, podcasts, and online supplementation) to
enhance teaching and learning with students, especially with undergraduates;
• prides itself on its experiential/action learning environment with outside speakers,
projects, trips, etc. (i.e., learning how to think and how to do);
• has faculty that set high academic standards and expectations for its students at all
• aligns what is being taught in the classroom to current events and research;
• demonstrates how its theories and concepts apply to careers and society.
Research with Impact
Research with impact is academic work and publications that generate discovery of new ways to
look at the familiar, identify a phenomenon that has previously gone unnoticed, articulate
uncharted territory, and clarify an interesting, unresolved, or inadequately addressed issue in and
Smeal’s role is to support and encourage such research efforts with the ongoing goal of
conducting research that will make a difference in the academy and in society.
Research with impact is realized through:
• cultivating towering scholarship and scholars who set the bar high for research in
terms of quality and appropriate quantity;
• facilitating and supporting efforts to engage the college’s theoretical insights in the
strategies and operational realities of business;
• continuing to increase citations of research originating at Smeal;
• increasing invitations to lecture, visit, and make guest appearances to share insights
• increasing exposure in the popular press and letting other audiences know of our
work beyond Smeal and our disciplines;
• generating external grants where appropriate that enable long-term, far-reaching
research efforts where there is a need for extensive equipment, travel, assistants, etc.
Dialogue with Society
The college is dedicated to the ongoing discovery and creation of new ways of providing insights
to, and receiving feedback and creative perspectives from, society. This dialogue with society
promotes the diffusion of knowledge, the exchange of ideas, and attention to outreach at the
local, national, and international levels. Developing such a dialogue includes engaging us in the
larger, global marketplace through an enhanced sensitivity and understanding of other cultures.
While the heart of such a dialogue is the units and programs explicitly engaged with outside
audiences—research centers, executive education, study abroad, speakers series, etc.—the soul
of such an interaction will come from the talents and engagement of our faculty.
Developing a dialogue with society means engaging:
• research centers to provide breakthrough knowledge in business fields through
multiple venues and professional development engagements;
• executive education and outreach programs to provide professional enrichment and
job-related knowledge for executives and managers, as well as engaging
organizations to think about transformations and second-order change;
• undergraduate and graduate programs to prepare future professionals for meaningful
• the Board of Visitors, Alumni Society Board, and other advisory boards to provide
feedback to the college and to engage alumni in the education and professional
development of students through mentoring, networking, and internship experiences;
• internships to develop connections to “real world” experiences;
• public lectures from diverse guests such as leading researchers, authors, government
leaders, top managers, and other notable business speakers, to share their expertise
with the Smeal Community;
• conferences and events such as the Smeal Celebrating Women in Business
Conference, The Next CEO, The Corporate Exchange at Smeal, The START
(Striving Towards Awareness and Respect for Tomorrow) Conference, and many
• student organizations to develop an outreach and service mission.
Community with Distinction
A community that is distinctive is supportive of its members, prizes “Towering Scholarship,”
and holds diversity as a core value. Its members help each other to succeed in scholarly pursuits
and in life. It is one that seeks to engage all Smeal faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends in
the vision of the college. It is one that welcomes differences in people and ideas, and facilitates
connections for people with different identities, backgrounds, and ideas. Such a community is
grounded in a set of expectations, indeed values, of integrity, respect, and openness.
A community that has distinction is characterized by:
• an honor code that sets expectations of integrity for its students;
• an advising and services staff that is both knowledgeable and passionate in its quest to
help and enable students;
• mentors for faculty, staff, and students. Such mentors are drawn from the
community, alumni, and other colleagues;
• an aggressive plan for diversity, multicultural leadership, and related events, services,
and focused funding;
• interest houses, honor societies, and special interest events;
• tutoring for those who fall behind and those who want to excel;
• a wide variety of student organizations;
• world-class facilities;
• ways of continuously taking the pulse of the community and responding to its needs;
• an expectation of respect for all of its members by all of its members.
C. Initiatives in Progress
The next section will focus primarily on new initiatives on goal attainment driven by the
Strategic Planning Council and other advisory bodies (e.g., the Board of Visitors, Accounting
Advisory Board). But the college has already been engaged in a number of initiatives over the
last eighteen months. Some of these are explained in more detail in the body of the plan; others
are self explanatory. How these initiatives fit into our four strategic goals is presented in the
following table. More details on each initiative can be found in Appendix E.
This section describes the priorities for the college in accomplishing the overarching goal of
becoming a “Top 5 Public.” Future initiatives are described (as well as some current projects,
where appropriate). Each priority is a step toward achieving excellence in the four focus areas of
the strategic plan: extraordinary education, research with impact, dialogue with society, and
community with distinction.
The initiatives are arranged under each of the goals. Each description of main initiatives is
concluded with a summary objective to highlight the reason for, and importance of, the
action. Specific actions are presented in blue italics.
A. Extraordinary Education
Providing an extraordinary education means that the college must conduct teaching and learning
in a manner that brings out the highest potential in our individual students. The college’s faculty
must challenge students to meet the highest performance standards. Programs, courses, and
assignments should be relevant to the current circumstances and needs of the global economy.
Students should be provided with opportunities to work together in and out of class to challenge
and mentor each other.
In order to maintain relevance to the current business environment, continuous innovation and
assessment of courses, outcomes, and programs are required.
The primary areas to be addressed in reaching the college’s goal to provide extraordinary
education are student/faculty ratio and class size, professional development, interdisciplinary
learning, learning assessment, curricula, and the creation of a new administrative position
overseeing all aspects of learning.
Student to Faculty
This is a baseline initiative. With
essentially the worst
student/faculty ratio among the
top 100 business programs in the
country, this will be a
fundamental hurdle in our quest
to reach “Top 5 Public” status.
Currently at 44:1, as defined by
the AACSB, student/faculty ratio
impacts our ability to provide the
highest quality education,
inhibits our ability to take
advantage of new learning
methods focused on engagement
and participation, makes it difficult to mentor and advise, and frustrates our desire to customize
and provide focused attention to the individual learning needs of our students. The
student/faculty ratio must improve over the plan period.
Of course there are two variables in the ratio equation: students and faculty. It becomes
necessary to deal with both: to decrease the number of students, while maintaining a diverse
student body (currently at 5,950) and increase the number and diversity of faculty. With new
enrollment management controls in place and a commitment to hire more faculty over the next
three years, there will be progress made. But to achieve an acceptable balance of students and
faculty, there must be a continued and longer term plan and commitment to reducing the ratio.
Under the current operating and funding models, the historical and predicted student and faculty
counts are shown in the graphs below (dashed lines represent future projections):
The immediate goal must be to achieve a ratio of
approximately 35:1 or lower. For this ratio, and
assuming that we will settle into a 5,000
undergraduate enrollment steady-state, we
A student/faculty ratio that would allow
would need to have approximately 150 full-time
smaller classes and the implementation of
faculty to see a difference and to be competitive
learning-based pedagogies is critical for being
in the Big Ten (though these would not be the a “Top 5 Public.”
top programs). Currently, Smeal has 136 full-
time faculty members, including 90
tenure/tenure track. We were able to net nine new faculty members for fall 2008 and are on
schedule to net a minimum of eleven more faculty members over the next three to four years.
This needed ratio will put us on schedule, assuming that student counts are reduced and the
current enrollment management plan is adhered to.
Numbers cannot be the only measure of achieving an extraordinary education. We must also
drive toward a goal of excellent teaching in the classroom; provide incentives for that excellent
teaching; engage learning endowments; make use of leading-edge technology and other
support; and provide ongoing learning and teaching skill development opportunities. This applies
to our entire faculty, but it is our clinical and other fixed-term faculty who will be among the
leaders in leveraging the returns on these investments. As such, these faculty must be part of, and
play a critical role in, the faculty hiring strategy throughout the planning period.
Providing the college’s students with an extraordinary education means that they will graduate
from Smeal with the professional skills necessary to build the foundation for a successful career.
By implementing expectations of high knowledge levels with current, relevant, rigorous courses,
the college’s graduates will be competent in their professional discipline. Coursework across the
curriculum will inculcate in the college’s graduates a global perspective. With a focus on
experiential learning and group and leadership skills, Smeal’s graduates will be able to learn
from problems and thrive in team environments.
An extraordinary education will also provide the
college’s students with the skills and
perspectives necessary to become well-rounded
business citizens. Integrative educational Strategic Objective
experiences will challenge students to think A focused, engaging program for student
development that is built into the fabric of the
outside of their traditional boundaries while student culture and the structure of the college
giving them a solid understanding of society, is critical for the success of our students.
organizations, and the business environment. By
implementing current technology in the classroom, the college’s graduates will have a solid
understanding of the role of technology in business and society.
One way of doing this is through curricula that challenge and engage students. This is discussed
later in this section. Another avenue for professional development is through a formal college
effort outside of the classroom. This can be accomplished through the creation of the Institute
for Student Professional Development. The institute will provide unparalleled support and
resources for student career placement and services.
At the core of this new institute is the college’s Career Planning Strategies Course (BA297A), a
one-credit course designed for sophomore-level students interested in learning more about the
job search process, networking with companies, and gaining knowledge about positions and
career paths in various companies through self-assessment, exploration, goal-setting, and special
projects. Students will build their theoretical knowledge of careers to a greater understanding of
corporate operations and environments as they continue the self-discovery and goal-setting
processes essential to their career search. And because the course occurs relatively early in the
undergraduate experience, it will also help the students to select their majors.
The institute will aid students in resume development, business communication, and the
interview process. It will engage students and corporate recruiters to place the college’s students
in internships and co-ops. Guest speakers and mentors will connect with students through student
organizations and in classes. The elevation of the college’s diversity programs will be a priority
of the institute, achieved through mentoring and the engagement of the college’s diversity
organizations and initiatives.
To be able to look across the disciplines that define a business is a critical skill for all graduates.
Two initiatives at the college level are discussed below.
BA 411 – Analyzing Business and Industry. Each semester in the college’s
capstone undergraduate course “Analyzing Business and Industry” (BA411), more than 700
students leverage all of their previous coursework to take an interdisciplinary and team-based
approach to business learning. As part of the course, students work in teams to manage a
simulated business, competing for market share and profits in the $100 million electronic sensor
industry. The course culminates in an event called “The Corporate Exchange at Smeal,” at which
the teams whose companies have fared the best present their shareholders’ reports and defend
their business strategies to a panel of judges comprised of corporate executives, faculty, and
The course itself stresses the value of interdisciplinary knowledge as students learn from each
other’s strengths in various subject areas. Knowledge of all of the functional arenas in business is
gained through the team-based activities leading up to the Corporate Exchange event. It is
critical that this course be scaled and become a centerpiece for all majors at the college.
Investing in its success in terms of instructional resources—from teachers to technology to
external support—is an important ingredient for realizing the extraordinary education goal.
The Integrative Business Studies (IBUS) Major. While BA411 is meant to
provide a foundation for all Smeal graduates, we are also developing focused curricula for those
wanting to make interdisciplinary thinking a centerpiece. Continued investment, enhancement,
and support are critical for setting an interdisciplinary foundation for all Smeal majors. To that
end, the college is currently developing a new major to reside in the restructured Department
of Insurance and Real Estate (IRE) that would leverage a variety of courses across disciplines
both in and out of Smeal.
The Integrative Business Studies major will provide increased choice for students in course
combinations while maintaining a strong basis of business knowledge via core courses. The
major will leverage the high quality teaching faculty that reside in the new Department of Risk,
Property, and Markets, which will have expertise in the areas of actuarial science, business
economics, business law, insurance, international business, real estate, and risk management as
well as be able to integrate among and across areas.
This new department focused on integration will afford students an interdisciplinary, integrative
approach to business, while allowing them to concentrate their studies in areas not currently
covered extensively by the college’s other majors, such as business law, global business, real
estate, and risk management.
Students will be expected to take the same core courses required of all Smeal majors, including
at least three credits (one course) at the 400-level in each of the four areas and a total of fifteen
credits (five courses) at the 400-level. The major will incorporate courses from around the
University, including courses in economics,
history, information sciences, and political
science, among others. IBUS majors will be
encouraged to complete a study abroad Strategic Objective
experience and participate in internships and co- Providing opportunities for students to look
ops to build on their classroom experience. outside of their “conceptual boxes” is a
critical ingredient for contemporary business
A detailed rendering of the major (to be education.
proposed this year to the Faculty Senate after
review by the college) is presented in Appendix F.
Maintaining an extraordinary education at the college requires continuous and rigorous
assessment and constant improvement and innovation. Assessment at Smeal is framed around
continuous improvement of student learning. Using the “Assurance of Learning” standards
established by AACSB International in its maintenance of accreditation guidelines, and
according to learning assessment criteria outlined by the Middle States Commission on Higher
Education, Smeal is committed to continually enhancing the assessment of student learning in
each of its educational programs.
The following chart provides an overview of the assessment process at Smeal. Timelines for fall
implementation, current initiatives, and planned enhancements are all developed in this section.
Assessment at Smeal addresses four basic questions:
1) What are the learning goals; what do we want our students to learn?
2) How are we going to know if students are learning and achieving those goals?
3) What has ongoing assessment taught us about our students’ learning?
4) How are we going to use this assessment data to improve student learning?
While learning goals often span undergraduate, MBA, and specialized master’s programs, the
objectives and degree of rigor align to the mission and purpose of each program, and the process
is replicable in each program.
The learning assessment process began with the convening of an assessment and learning
council, chaired by the dean of the college and comprised of faculty, administrators, and key
stakeholders. Draft learning goals and objectives were developed based on the college’s mission
statement and program purpose. Goals and objectives were reviewed and adjusted through
faculty discussion and stakeholder review in each of the programs. Course-embedded
measurement was identified as a primary assessment tool along with supporting evidence from
satisfaction surveys and self-efficacy surveys. Learning goals and objectives were mapped to
prescribed courses and measurement methods were developed. Data collection and analysis
provided evidence of student learning along with shortfalls. Efforts to close the gap between
learning goals and actual learning enable Smeal to continuously improve student learning in
undergraduate and graduate programs.
Learning goals, which extend across the eight undergraduate
majors offered in the college, focus on communication,
integration, discipline competency, ethical behavior,
globalization, and problem solving. These learning goals
• Discipline Competency align with the college’s mission and strategic plan to
• Ethical Behavior demonstrate that students have achieved the intended
• Globalization learning.
• Problem Solving
The MBA Program and the Executive MBA Program have
separate learning goals and objectives as stipulated by the AACSB. While there are fundamental
similarities in the learning initiatives for both programs, separate program deliverables warrant
unique learning plans. Each program, however, presumes a pre-established knowledge base from
undergraduate education and industry experience. This enables learning to be integrative,
interdisciplinary, and critical.
The college has two specialized master’s programs included in the learning assessment effort.
The Master of Manufacturing Management is cosponsored with the College of Engineering and
has learning goals associated with communications, product design analysis, manufacturing
process analysis, and team/personal management skills. The online Master of Professional
Studies in Supply Chain Management launched in fall 2007 and is in the process of developing
learning goals based on analytical skills, team participation and leadership, integration and
technical competency, and strategic management/analysis.
While learning assessment is embedded in capstone and integrative courses, improvements will
occur across the curricula. For example, in the undergraduate learning assessment piece, the
capstone course (BA411: “Analyzing Business and Industry”) assumes skill sets learned in
prerequisite courses. These skill sets are the foundation to the integrative nature of BA411. If
weaknesses are identified, changes may be needed in the prerequisite areas rather than in BA411.
The process of assessment will also be reviewed to ensure that it is not an end in itself or the
primary focus for establishing learning goals in the college.
How this all plays out over time is presented in the following graph.
Learning Assessment Timeline:
Current Innovation and Assessment Projects. The college is developing surveys
to assess senior-level students’ confidence in meeting Smeal’s competency goals and to
measure students’ satisfaction with undergraduate programs. We are creating concept
inventories to gauge students’ understanding of business disciplines in their junior and senior
years. And we are adding items to the Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE)
surveys to include questions on the Smeal Honor Code and course rigor.
The competency survey was pre-tested on students in the capstone course in fall 2007, revised,
and applied to students in the capstone course in spring 2008. The results are now undergoing
analysis with student focus groups before distribution. The Senior Exit Survey went through the
same development process and is also undergoing analysis. An inventory of basic business
concepts is now under development for testing in spring 2009.
The survey seeks to measure whether Smeal graduates can:
• formulate and solve problems;
• communicate persuasively and concisely in writing and oral presentations;
• understand how business disciplines and units interact;
• grasp the complexities and impact of global cultures and markets;
• lead and manage people for results;
• understand the importance of maintaining sound ethical practices.
Second, the college has been organizing and training undergraduate students to participate in
Innovation and Quality (IQ) Teams to provide instructors with feedback about the impact of
course designs to improve the learning process. The college formed the first IQ team in spring
2007 and has gradually expanded the number to five teams in spring 2008. There are ten teams
projected for fall 2008, directly involving more than 100 students and having an impact on the
educational quality of 40 percent of the undergraduate student body.
The goals of the IQ Team initiative are:
• to provide faculty with feedback about the impact of course design on learning to
improve the learning process;
• to identify barriers to learning and exploit them as opportunities for improvement;
• to gather data to document problems and develop solutions;
• to reflect on the ways students learn in order to help them become more efficient and
effective learners and suggest new strategies for study and practice.
Third, the college is currently developing a
“Learning @ Smeal” Web site to support
innovation programs, including faculty pages on
interactive learning in large courses (peer Strategic Objective
instruction, problem-based learning, and team- Innovation and the assessment of its success
based learning); more effective lectures with are imperative to ensure the perpetual
interactive elements; course design based on improvement of all of the college’s programs.
research-based principles and practices; and
methods for overcoming student resistance to course innovations.
The Web site will also feature student pages on IQ team goals and processes; team management
and team learning; effective questioning and research; and how to monitor and improve learning.
Finally, the college will conduct six or more workshops per semester to introduce faculty to the
design and management of interactive learning in large classes along with a series of
workshops on developing appropriate concept tests and inventories for in-class use to exploit
information technologies that support student engagement.
In the past year, the college has revamped the MBA curriculum and launched a new specialized
master’s degree program, the Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management
(MPS/SCM). We also continually examine our courses and programs for relevance and
consider all options, including the elimination of such that are obsolete.
Future initiatives include a proposal going before the Faculty Senate to restructure the
undergraduate program curriculum and the creation of another specialized master’s degree
program, the Master of Accounting program (MAcc). These are described below.
The New Smeal MBA Curriculum. Several changes are being implemented in the
Smeal MBA Program to improve the rigor of the program and further develop the
management and leadership skills sought by top firms. These changes flow from the faculty’s
review of the MBA program and from feedback from recruiters and alumni calling for a stronger
focus on communication, leadership, and teamwork skills. The changes also provide MBA
students with more of a global perspective and give them a multitude of opportunities to work on
real, relevant business problems.
Recruiters and alumni share the belief
that analytic and subject matter skills are
of the utmost importance in business
education. However, their feedback
indicates a general belief that all top
MBA programs train students very well
in those areas and that, because of this
uniformly good training, graduates
distinguish themselves via superiority in
other skill areas such as communication
and leadership. To increase the emphasis
of those areas in the MBA program, the
Communications class increased from
three credits to four; the Ethics class
increased from one credit to two; and a Leadership Coaching program was implemented. In
addition, the program now requires a four-credit capstone project course in the second year that
has cross-functional teams of MBA students work on “live” cases from our corporate partners,
giving the students a final project that will require of them an important opportunity to work on a
The new Smeal MBA Program seeks to increase the global exposure of the MBA students by
requiring a one-credit Global Business Environment course in the first year. This new course will
complement the international aspects of the program, which were previously in place: the one-
credit Global Perspectives course and the weeklong Global Immersion experience, which will
become a two-credit course.
Additionally, we will continue to grow the J.D./M.B.A. program with the Dickinson School of
The Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management. In
conjunction with Penn State World Campus, Smeal recently launched a 30-credit specialized
master’s degree program in supply chain management. The Master of Professional Studies in
Supply Chain Management (MPS/SCM) is designed for working professionals in the supply
chain and logistics industry who seek to earn an advanced degree without interrupting their
employment. Nearly all of the coursework is completed online, and the degree takes
approximately two full years to complete, including summers and a short residency on the
University Park campus.
The MPS/SCM program emphasizes problem-solving competencies and leadership skills critical
to leading business transformations through integrated supply chain planning and execution. The
curriculum offers twenty-six credits in supply chain management, including a four-credit
professional paper, plus four credits in project management. As the culminating experience, the
professional paper contributes to the students’ professional development by demonstrating the
students’ ability to apply advanced supply chain management knowledge to a supply chain-
The Master of Entrepreneurship. In conjunction with the Colleges of Agricultural
Sciences and Engineering, the Penn State World Campus, and the Graduate School, Smeal will
be proposing a new online program at the graduate level in entrepreneurship that targets two
groups of students. The first target group is those working professionals who wish to earn an
advanced degree in innovation management and entrepreneurship but do not want to interrupt
their careers. The second group is made up of non-business students in other graduate programs,
principally in the sciences and engineering, who wish to supplement their studies with a
certificate in entrepreneurship. This program would be linked to entrepreneurship initiatives at
the University level and be a truly interdisciplinary program.
Undergraduate Curriculum Revision Task Force. The Undergraduate
Curriculum Revision Task Force was appointed to examine the existing undergraduate
curriculum structure and recommend changes that would represent a more contemporary
philosophy of a business education. This fourteen-member group is comprised of Smeal deans
and department chairs as well as business administrators and faculty members representing the
nineteen Penn State campuses.
The initial focus of the task force is the content
and sequence of courses taken by our students in
Business Programs @ Penn State
their first two years. Other issues being
Penn State offers an undergraduate business
education at nineteen Penn State campuses
across Pennsylvania. Every semester, faculty
and administrators from all campuses meet to • Major curricula
discuss curricula, disciplinary communities, • Two-piece supporting offerings
issues, and learning opportunities across all • Customized majors through a
the venues. Called “Business Programs @ refocused/renamed Insurance and Real
Penn State,” this gathering usually is hosted Estate Department
once every year by a campus other than • Visibility of a five-year Masters of
University Park. Accounting (MAcc) Program for
The Task Force is also cognizant of various programmatic/thematic perspectives and how these
might be integrated into the curriculum:
• Integration across disciplines
• International/Global presence
• Information technology (use and theory)
• Entrepreneurship (perhaps a minor with the College of Engineering)
• Professional development
• Honors/Sapphire courses
• Online/Hybrid delivery
The Task Force met on several occasions and endorsed moving the business foundation courses
to the first two years. Additionally, current entry-to-major courses are to be moved to the junior
year. These shifts are displayed in the following images.
To accommodate this change, some of the existing entrance-to-major courses and
prerequisites were revisited to enable the movement of the business foundation courses
to the second year. The necessary adjustments were agreed to and the following was
These changes to the entrance-to-major requirements will allow students at all campuses to make
more informed choices of their majors, leading to an increase in student satisfaction, an increase
in campus retention, and a reduction in the number of students who fail to graduate from Smeal.
The end result is an efficient, effective, and student-centered major selection process.
The course changes and accompanying prerequisites will be sent to the Faculty Senate in fall
2008. Future efforts will address several concerns that were expressed by the Penn State campus
representatives regarding the availability of faculty, the possible need for funding, and
constraints on classroom space and scheduling. Additionally, we will consider curriculum
revisions to include a focus on leadership and management.
The New Master of Accounting Program. Accountant licensing regulations across
the United States are increasingly requiring completion of 150 credit hours as a prerequisite for
licensing public accountants. To respond to these requirements, the recent legislation passed in
Harrisburg, and the resulting surge in demand from existing and potential students for an
expanded accounting curriculum, Smeal’s Department of Accounting has proposed the
introduction of the Master of Accounting (MAcc) Program.
The MAcc program will require an additional
one year of coursework (30 credits) in the
students’ fifth year. It will initially be offered to Strategic Objective
the college’s undergraduate students as an Being reactive and proactive in curricula
integrated five-year program (“3+2”) and will offerings is an absolute necessity for an
eventually convert into a one-year MAcc extraordinary education.
program (“4+1”), which will be offered to
applicants from outside the University as a standalone master’s program. The content of the
program will be such that it will meet the University’s Graduate School requirements, AACSB
requirements, CPA licensing accounting course requirements for Pennsylvania, and the CPA
licensing requirements for adjacent states.
The program will consist of ten three-credit courses. Five of the ten courses will be in
accounting, one will be in finance, one will be in communication, and the other three courses
will be electives that can be taken at Smeal or elsewhere within the University. Three of the five
accounting courses in the program are already being taught as 400-level electives in the
accounting undergraduate program and will be converted to 500-level. Only two of the five
accounting courses will be entirely new.
Assistant Dean/Director of Learning
The college will create a new administrative
position at the assistant dean or director level
responsible for directing innovations and
improvements in all aspects of learning, Strategic Objective
including curricular research and improvement, Someone must oversee and coordinate the
the design of learning experiences, and the learning efforts of the college. This position
formative assessment of learning and teaching. puts “full-time eyes” on the teaching and
The position will provide vision and leadership learning at Smeal.
for the strategic development and coordination
of learning resources and services.
The duties will include the hiring and management of a staff of specialists in measurement and
assessment, instructional design, continuous quality improvement, and pedagogically driven
classroom technologies; the organization and supervision of student initiatives in mentoring,
quality improvement, and learning design consulting; providing support and leadership to
departmental learning and innovation teams; conducting ongoing workshops in the application of
research based practices; and advocacy for the adoption of learning innovations emphasizing
student involvement in active and self-directed learning.
B. Research with Impact
To fulfill the college’s role as part of a major
research university, Smeal is committed to
producing and disseminating new knowledge.
However, to attain the college’s goal of Strategic Objective
becoming a “Top 5 Public,” it is not sufficient to While earlier discussed from a student/faculty
simply conduct and publish research for the ratio standpoint, here the focus on growing
faculty is to enhance the core of “towering
academy. Rather, the college must be committed
scholars” to be competitive.
to producing research that makes a difference, or
has an impact in society, academia, and beyond.
Researcher with Impact Researcher with Impact
Terry Harrison Keith Crocker
Professor of Supply Chain and Information William Elliott Chaired Professor of Insurance and
Systems Terry Harrison is investigating how firms Risk Management Keith Crocker is researching the
manage the potential consequences of new product impact of higher insurance deductibles on
introductions and product line extensions, which is consumption of health care services. When
the proliferation of SKUs. Although introducing deductibles are small, health care consumers tend
new products generally increases revenue, to “over-consume” services because they are
introductions can also raise costs because of inexpensive, thereby raising health insurance
factors such as higher inventory and increased premiums. Crocker’s research investigates those
complexity. As part of his research, Harrison is who would enroll in high-deductible plans, how
developing optimization models that link market high-risk consumers would fare in such plans, and
and supply chain functions to help determine the the impact of high-deductible plans on the health
best set of SKUs for a firm to eliminate. status of enrollees.
Research with impact substantially alters the discourse and trajectories of academic fields.
Beyond that, it influences what is taught in business schools and affects the perspectives and
actions of practitioners and legislators. Having a research piece published in a top-tier refereed
journal may greatly improve the likelihood of that research having an impact, but it is not
synonymous with impact. Research has an impact only when it is widely noted, highly
acclaimed, and put into use, at a minimum, by fellow academics, but also by business leaders or
In order to increase the college’s output of top research that impacts the academy and society, the
college will focus on four priorities: growing research faculty, increasing faculty endowments,
differential rewards and metrics, and raising doctoral student stipends. New and cutting-edge
initiatives need to also be considered. These range from investing in and expanding current
programs (e.g., entrepreneurship and human resources) to new areas such as sustainability and
Growing the Smeal Research Faculty
One of the keys to producing research with
Researcher with Impact
impact is to have a faculty consisting of highly
motivated, talented scholars who aspire to make
Associate Professor of Business Law Dan Cahoy is a difference through their published work. The
studying how laws that permit government size of the college’s undergraduate enrollment
incursions on patents impact the incentives to and the corresponding teaching load present a
create new medicines in the pharmaceutical challenge for the college in its efforts to attract
industry. Many countries have relaxed and retain first-rate research scholars.
pharmaceutical patent rights through “compulsory
licenses” in times of emergency, or simply to save
money. Cahoy is analyzing whether the presumed The top-rated business schools for research all
protections afforded to patent owners under have substantially larger tenure-track faculties
national and international law actually function to than Smeal, and the college’s ability to become a
preserve innovation incentives while increasing “Top 5 Public” largely depends on growing the
access among impoverished nations.
size of its faculty. The University’s current
commitment to grow the faculty by twenty
positions over the next four years is a reasonable minimum to successfully grow the college’s
research output. However, the vast majority of these new positions should be dedicated to hiring
research-oriented tenure-track faculty who extend beyond narrow technical dimensions and
possess a breadth of perspectives, the ability to select important research topics, superior
communication skills, and an aspiration for impact.
Increasing Faculty Endowments
Endowments are essential to retain faculty and
encourage year-round research. Almost all
tenured faculty members at the top public Strategic Objective
business schools have endowed positions, which Smeal cannot be competitive in terms of
typically cover support for two summer months research and supplementary support through
in addition to research expenses. Smeal must the sole use of General Funds. It must engage
expand its number of endowed professorships in a concerted effort to provide endowment
to cover all tenured faculty members and support to be competitive.
increase existing endowments that provide only
The first priority for endowments is to obtain support for every research-active tenured faculty
member. The endowment should cover at least two months of summer salary and some research
expenses. Faculty with endowed positions should be reviewed at milestones against higher
performance standards than faculty who do not hold such positions.
Second, endowments should be obtained for the purpose of covering additional research-related
expenses and for the hiring of research assistants. Both types of resources are currently limited at
the college when compared to “Top 5” programs (increasing stipends is discussed below).
Rewards and Metrics
To instill an emphasis on research impact, new
indicators of faculty research performance need
to be developed and new incentives put in place Strategic Objective
to encourage the production of theoretical and If an emphasis on research with impact is to
applied research. Smeal’s current metrics be in place, appropriate reward structures
emphasize quantity of publications and the need to be formed.
caliber of the outlets in which they appear, with
too little attention paid to impact. Outside of intrinsic motives, tenured faculty members at the
college currently have little incentive to maintain active, high-quality research programs.
Various measures of research performance have differing degrees of relevance depending on a
faculty member’s career stage. Because evidence of research impact is difficult to measure in a
short time span, tenure candidates should be evaluated primarily in terms of their ability to place
their research in A-level journals. However, new attention needs to be paid to the way that
external referees characterize a tenure candidate’s style of research and potential for impact.
Tenured faculty should be evaluated using a set
Researchers with Impact of criteria that reflects both demonstrated and
Peter Ebbes, Zan Huang, and potential academic impact. These criteria
include A-level journal productivity, citations,
Assistant Professor of Marketing Peter Ebbes, awards, and board positions at top journals.
Assistant Professor of Supply Chain and
Information Systems Zan Huang, and Anchel Additionally, the college must measure impact
Professor of Marketing Arvind Rangaswamy are outside of the academy. These indicators might
developing new sampling techniques to better
understand complex social networks, which have
include research presentations to policy or
expansive collections of connections and nodes.corporate groups, prominent media reports of
research findings, publications in prominent
Companies could better leverage these networks if
they more fully understood how they operate. practitioner outlets, or business adoption of
research ideas. Various other possible ways of
demonstrating outside impact do exist. Self reports of such impacts outside of the academy
should be included in faculty members’ annual reports.
To incentivize research, especially for tenured faculty members, a committee should review
faculty members on a rotating basis to determine if they are research active. Such committees
already exist at many of the top business schools. Upon determination, teaching loads should
vary depending on research performance. Additionally, implementing greater variance in merit
pay raises based on research performance would encourage faculty members to maintain a
robust research agenda.
Raising Doctoral Stipends
Ph.D. applicants select their programs primarily
based on the reputation and placement record of
the institution, but financial support is also
important. Smeal’s support of doctoral students
Though recently raised, the average Ph.D.
is well below that of the leading business stipend at Smeal still lags most competitor
schools, and, as a result, the college is missing programs. To attract and retain top students,
out on some of the top Ph.D. candidates. High- funding for increasing stipends must be
quality doctoral students greatly enhance faculty identified.
research performance, but the converse is also
true; so it’s essential for Smeal to attract the highest-quality Ph.D. candidates possible in order to
be the most effective at producing research with impact.
Doctoral stipends need to be on par with those
of the top public business schools. Every three
Doctoral Stipends 07-08
* per 12 months except where noted years the college should re-adjust its stipends to
be at the median of this group. The college
Texas $30,000 minimum
should also provide financial support for out-of-
Berkeley $24,000 pocket expenses both for conducting research
Michigan $11,400/term and traveling to conferences. This support
North Carolina $20,000 should also be on par with the college’s
Wisconsin $18,000 aspirational peers. Increased doctoral stipends
will also be met by placement in top programs.
Ohio State $14,400
Michigan State $12,500-$17,000
C. Dialogue with Society
An open dialogue with society means that the college is engaged with the larger, global
marketplace of ideas to promote the diffusion of knowledge and the exchange of ideas and
perspectives between the college and the world outside of the academy. This interaction is
necessary to achieve “Top 5 Public” status and supports the college’s objective of achieving
excellence in education and research.
In many ways, the college is already proficient at engaging with society. All of the research
centers at Smeal have among their core objectives the engagement of their practitioner
constituents, Penn State faculty, and educators from other leading academic institutions. Penn
State Executive Programs offers executive education that is popular among corporate leaders and
managers. Leading business professionals serve on the college’s various advisory boards. Their
input and advice keeps individual units, and the college as a whole, connected with the key
issues affecting the global business environment.
Through guest speaker programs like the college’s Leadership in Focus: Executive Insights,
Smeal regularly hosts prestigious executives to share their business expertise with students and
faculty. Academic units, Career and Corporate Services, and corporate recruiters collaborate to
host company and industry specific events to expose the college’s students to various career
paths and professional options. The college’s development and alumni relations offices keep
alumni of the college and friends of the University engaged as advisers, mentors, and
To expand on these successes, the college will focus on expanding its engagement with society
via four priorities: conveying research, globalization, information technology support, and
new/revised units in sustainability, sports management, and executive education.
By focusing on the development of first-rate research and its publication in A-level academic
journals, the college will continue to have an impact on academic discourse. However, to engage
audiences outside of the academy and broaden the reach of faculty research, the college must
refocus its research communications efforts to connect with society as a whole.
The college must put into place new incentives
to encourage faculty members to submit their
research to publications that appeal to
practitioners, in addition to academic journals. Strategic Objective
“Dialogue” means a two-way communication
Research results must be translated into language
with society through the application of our
accessible to practitioners, the popular and research.
business media, and legislators. Further, the
college’s communications vehicles should also
work to publicize the newsworthy non-research impacts of Smeal.
The college’s communications staff should help push more faculty research from A-level
journals to editors and reporters in the business media (e.g., Harvard Business Review, The Wall
Street Journal). The communications staff should be expanded to increase Smeal’s visibility
with alumni, practitioners, and public officials. A new process of strategic communications
planning will be developed to include broad participation across units and assess collaborative
opportunities between academic units, research centers, and outside stakeholders. Modeled after
“Knowledge@Wharton,” a new dynamic Web site will be established for the exchange of
information about issues and trends affecting business and business education.
Smeal must expand its global reach through overseas partnerships and programs that extend the
college’s international presence in a concerted manner. Several research centers and academic
units have sought to become more globally oriented, but individual attempts at doing so have
been only marginally successful.
Peer universities that have been successful
internationally have done so via major
investments in multidimensional partnerships. Strategic Objective
Smeal should explore this route, via an “Dialogue” means engaging our expertise on a
appointed coordinator who will seek out global stage.
opportunities for forming college- or University-
level alliances with international universities. The college should consider identifying three to
four regional partner universities to work with in developing programs and initiatives
generated by multiple Smeal units.
Additionally, to expand and consolidate international programs for both undergraduate and
graduate students, the college is exploring the creation of a Smeal International Council. The
council would coordinate all student international programs and assist in finding and creating
new programs around the world. A detailed discussion of this is found below in the section on
Information Technology Support
In sharing and promoting the strengths and impact of the college on society, technology
innovations must be in place to provide dynamic and interactive methods for communication.
Virtual research communities can be created of the greatest minds across disciplines within and
outside of academe to collaborate on solving societal problems. At Smeal, the Research,
Instruction, and Information Technology (RIIT) Group infrastructure will continue to be
upgraded and simplified to support these new innovations and afford ease of use of these
Specifically, the RIIT Group is focusing its resources in four areas: innovation, IT
simplification, governance, and communication.
Innovation encompasses not only integrating
new technologies like Web 2.0 into the
infrastructure, but also providing incentives for Strategic Objective
faculty to learn and adopt these advances where “Dialogue” means IT communication
they can have a transformative impact on their channels that increase the reach and range of
teaching and research. Cultivating innovation idea sharing.
requires incentives for faculty to embrace new
technologies and time for IT experts to evaluate and implement these improvements, as well as
funding. To augment the funding of the RIIT Group and provide targeted funding for
innovation, the college plans to create a $5 to $10 million endowment to support learning
innovation through IT. Projects funded by these resources will have substantial and measurable
impact on the learning and research aspirations of the college.
Through IT simplification, the RIIT Group will build a scalable infrastructure with standardized
systems on consolidated platforms using automated tools to provide a secure and agile
framework for aligning resources to the college’s vision. Such alignment must be usable and
understood by everyone in the community.
Providing a governance structure to encompass all stakeholders, to assess and determine
potential impact of proposed projects, to communicate the allocation of resources, and to include
experts in the industry who understand the transformative impact of emerging technologies, the
RIIT Group recommends the establishment of a CIO Cabinet. The members of the cabinet will
include representatives of the Smeal Community and experts whose business careers are
contingent on the successful integration of technology into their core business.
The foundation of successfully leveraging the RIIT Group as a strategic resource is
communication. In order for the college to embrace and integrate new innovations in technology
that will improve the effectiveness of instruction and research, the RIIT Group must first identify
its customers’ expectations and their understanding of IT. The communication pathways between
the RIIT Group and the Smeal Community need to be informative, easy, streamlined, and all
encompassing of the resources and support available. The RIIT Group must improve its
communication platforms to reflect current technologies, expand how it receives input from
customers, market the services and support available, convey current projects and/or initiatives,
and improve updates of progress on projects.
Several new initiatives to increase and innovate on our dialogue with external constituents are
underway. These include discussions around a new Center for Sustainable Business, the roll out
of a new Center for Sports Business & Research, and a revised philosophy and structure for
Sustainability. The college is currently exploring the creation of a sustainability-focused
research center to examine how the activities and functions of firms contribute to economic
effectiveness, societal well-being, and environmental stewardship. The Center for Sustainable
Business would identify complements and trade-offs among these outcomes, encourage dialogue
among stakeholders, and conduct research on facilitating complements and transcending trade-
offs whenever possible.
Sustainability broadens the scope of consequences of managerial decisions so that their impact
on people (health and well-being) and the planet (air and water pollution) are considered.
Unsustainable decisions are ones that eventually have unacceptable, unintended long-term
consequences. This is the outcome when a systems perspective is ignored—a perspective that the
proposed new center would have. Working with related efforts in other centers at Smeal, around
the University, and with key stakeholders in the extended Smeal Community, our hope is to
focus and leverage our expertise in this area.
Sports Management. In March 2008, the college launched a new research center
dedicated to the study of sports business. The Center for Sports Business & Research focuses on
the development of first-rate academic and applied empirical research in the sports industry,
while helping to define educational opportunities for students looking to start careers in sports
business. Drawing on Penn State’s rich athletic tradition and collaborating with two other
University sports research centers in the College of Communications and Dickinson School of
Law, the Center for Sports Business & Research seeks to bridge the gap between existing
academic research on sports business and relevant practitioner issues in the industry.
One of the center’s goals is to engage in dialogue with practitioners and the public to enhance the
Smeal and Penn State brands through improved student placement and media attention to the
center’s research. To accomplish this goal, the center has formed an advisory board of 24
members from all of the major professional sports leagues as well as members from the various
other sectors that make up the sports business industry, including sports apparel and equipment,
consumer goods, food and beverage, professional and college teams, marketing and advertising,
media, and sponsors.
The center’s research agenda is specifically designed to engage the interests of society through
the media. While focusing on the creation of research that will qualify for A-level academic
journals, the center also focuses on research that will be deemed important by practitioners in
Executive Education. Penn State Executive Programs is committed to regaining its core
executive education presence in the marketplace while expanding revenue levels in support of
the college’s overarching goal to become a “Top 5 Public.”
Research from Penn State Executive Programs
indicates that market demand over time has
shifted from education to education with Strategic Objective
consultation in support of implementation. Building additional structural “touchpoints”
Demands are evolving toward a need for deep will enable Smeal to increase its portfolio of
partner relationships that include assessment and dialogue opportunities around key issues and
consultation, with education as a byproduct. customers.
As a result, most university-based providers need a new business model, one that includes the
ability to build and maintain consulting relationships; conduct organizational assessments of
corporate strategy, leadership challenges, and culture; and one that results in true custom learning
designs based upon client needs and objectives. Penn State Executive Programs, therefore, is
now focused on senior-level leadership, strategy, innovation, and change, demonstrating the
ability to develop deep, long-term partner relationships; fully align with the client organization,
its goals, and objectives; and match faculty and content expertise to needs.
D. Community with Distinction
Building a community with distinction means the college must engage all of its stakeholders in
the vision of the college. The community must value differences in its members and their ideas,
and facilitate connections between members with differing backgrounds, identities, experiences,
and aspirations. Community members will help each other find success while remaining true to
community values of integrity, respect, and openness.
The college already has a solid sense of community embedded through the shared sense of
belonging of its faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. The Smeal Honor Code and
diversity initiatives affirm the college’s dedication to integrity and opportunity for all. And its
student organizations and alumni affinity groups further the sense of connection to the
To build on these successes and overcome some of the inherent obstacles that exist, the college
will focus its community-building efforts on human resources, diversity, mentoring, and making
Smeal’s human resources department has
planned several initiatives to attract and maintain
the best faculty and staff members, concentrating Strategic Objective
on new employee orientation, career coaching, “Distinction” means providing human
career development programs, succession resources development and support second to
planning, employee recognition programs, none.
alternative work schedules, and e-learning.
New employees, already in a state of transition,
are often willing to try out different behaviors as they adapt to their new environment; so the
college must seize this chance to present the organization and their department in a positive
manner. This will be accomplished at Smeal through an effective and inviting new hire
orientation program that shortens new employees’ learning curve, increases productivity,
facilitates compliance with policies and procedures, improves job satisfaction and retention, and
promotes communication between managers and staff.
A career coaching program will assign a more experienced or skilled individual to provide
employees with advice and guidance intended to help develop skills, improve performance, and
enhance career quality. Coaches must balance between encouraging and supporting a participant,
while acting as a sounding board and challenging firmly held beliefs, behaviors, and skills. This
may affect the participant’s ability to develop and attain newly needed competencies.
Career development programs can be an effective tool for retention, improving communication,
broadening employee skills, raising employee morale and job satisfaction, and even attracting
quality applicants. Such programs currently under consideration at the college include individual
career counseling in which the employee explores his/her values, skills, and interests; the
creation of an individual development plan; ongoing training in a variety of areas such as
communication, computer software, management and supervision, and technical skills; in-depth
orientation programs that inform employees about all aspects of the organization; annual
performance reviews; a career information library; coaching and/or mentoring programs; and
succession planning programs.
Succession planning identifies and grooms candidates for future openings in key positions. It is
part of a series of integrated human resources systems linking forecasting, career planning and
development, assessment, and performance appraisal.
A proposed employee recognition program would create a monthly staff award program for
outstanding service to the college. At the end of the year, one of the twelve winners will be
named the outstanding staff member of the year. Additionally, an Above and Beyond Award
should be created and presented periodically to faculty or staff members who perform far outside
of their normal roles and responsibilities.
Alternative work schedules allow greater flexibility for the employer and aid the employee in
achieving work-life balance. Such a program at Smeal will assist the college in providing better
service to its patrons, while easing some of the scheduling challenges of its employees. Various
forms of alternative work schedules are currently under consideration, including flextime,
compressed work weeks, job sharing, and telecommuting.
The goal of the college’s diversity enhancement program is to make diversity a more integral part
of Smeal’s curricula, climate, and structure. This will be achieved through increased financial
support, student recruitment and retention initiatives, focus groups, curricula integration, faculty
and staff appointments, and organizational realignments.
The college has the largest number of
Business Opportunities Summer underrepresented undergraduate minorities at
University Park. Nevertheless, Smeal continues
In the spring 2008 semester, Smeal launched its to strive to enhance both its diversity profile and
two-week BOSS program for diversity high school climate. The college is committed to:
students interested in pursuing a business
education. Students from Pennsylvania and • recruiting and retaining underrepresented
Washington, D.C. participated in college prep and
students, faculty, and staff, especially
business fundamentals classes.
faculty and M.B.A/Ph.D. degree
• enhancing curricula that reflect the many dimensions of working and living in a
• providing a welcoming climate and supportive resources for all of our constituencies to
realize their highest potential.
The college encourages faculty to be open to the
possibilities of new interdisciplinary and cross-
Powerful Women Paving the Way listed course offerings that help to foster the
Smeal and student organization Penn State Women importance of diversity, while ensuring the
in Business hosted a conference in spring 2008.
More than 300 students, alumni, and business continuation of existing diversity-focused and
professionals explored topics of interest through diversity-enhanced courses in the college. The
breakout sessions and panel discussions featuring college has introduced a new template that
leaders from across the corporate spectrum. Given measures the diversity content in all of its
the event’s success, plans are underway to hold the courses and will enhance the diversity
component of the Freshmen Seminar. The
college also encourages and supports faculty
research in a variety of areas that focus on diversity.
Smeal’s Diversity Office will continue to work with other programs and units within the
University to host and/or participate in conferences and workshops that address issues of
diversity. The college will continue to publish and update the Undergraduate Diversity Programs
Newsletter, the Minority MBA Alumni Newsletter, the Smeal Diversity Web site, and the
Minority MBA Alumni Database.
The college will continue to sponsor a series of
focus groups to assess the overall climate for all
of its students. Smeal’s Diversity Office will
work with faculty, students, and staff to enhance Strategic Objective
sensitivity to the diverse needs of the community Smeal must strive to value diversity in its
education, policies, investments, and
in an effort to exemplify both a learning and a
priorities. It is fundamental for a top program.
To help develop leadership, social, and study skills in underrepresented students, the college will
continue to support programs such as the Black Male Leadership Symposium and the S.T.A.R.T.
(Striving Towards Awareness and Respect for Tomorrow) Conference. Further, Smeal will
continue to support student organizations that enhance diversity in the college, including the
Council on Multicultural Organizations, the Minority MBA Association, the Multicultural
Business Society, the Multicultural Women’s Forum, the National Association of Black
Accountants, the National Association of Women MBAs, the National Hispanic Business
Association, Out in Business, and Women in Business.
In the Smeal Executive MBA Program, the college is working to establish a Diversity Interest
Group that will include current students and alumni. We will assist the group with recruitment,
retention, and fund-raising. We are also creating a “culture of connectedness” between the
residential MBA program and the EMBA program through SmealConnect, invitations to
diversity events, and inclusion in the diversity newsletter.
As a whole, the college has recently undertaken several new initiatives in diversity, including
developing a database on underrepresented minority alumni, creating an undergraduate
diversity student peer-mentoring program, and forming a tutoring and mentoring program for
“change of location” students. Appendix G includes a complete overview of these initiatives.
The college seeks to further develop its mentoring program by leveraging its large alumni base
and connecting alumni with current students. One current initiative is the launch of a new online
social-networking community (SmealConnect) consisting of Smeal students, faculty, staff,
alumni, and friends.
SmealConnect was launched in the summer of
2008 with an invitation to join the online
network sent to all members of the Smeal Strategic Objective
Community with an e-mail address on file. The In linking our current students with our
format is similar to other social networking Web graduates in a systematic manner, we can
sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, so it will be leverage the knowledge and experience of our
familiar to users but have the added benefit of alumni for a better education.
being a closed network, meaning that only
invited constituents of the college can participate.
SmealConnect will allow its members to connect with each other based on a variety of criteria.
Current students and alumni with similar aspirations and/or interests can form online groups to
discuss current trends in their fields or shared obstacles in the way of their goals. Students
seeking careers in a particular discipline can connect with experienced alumni in their field to
discuss career goals and opportunities.
The new site will allow alumni and students, united by their shared experiences at Smeal, to
easily forge networking and mentoring relationships online while keeping them connected to the
college and its goal of becoming a “Top 5 Public.”
Making Connections—Smeal for Life
Like the rest of the University, Smeal greatly values its alumni and recognizes that their
continued involvement with the college is vital to achieving the goals set forth in this plan. And
while every student comes to Smeal with a unique identity and distinctive ambitions, they
graduate with shared experiences and a common connection to the college and the University.
To build upon these commonalities and
encourage Smeal alumni to stay connected to the
college, we are exploring a new alumni
marketing campaign called “Smeal for Life.” Strategic Objective
This brand, along with our advisory boards,
Together with Smeal staff and administrators, a
SmealConnect network, alumni groups, and
Board of Visitors subcommittee on Smeal for other connections, keeps our extended Smeal
Life is exploring how to fine tune this message community alive and thriving.
and turn it into an effective campaign.
The premise is that when our students graduate from Smeal, they join thousands of other alumni
with shared experiences at the college and a dedication to Penn State and Smeal for Life.
Our alumni give back to the college in countless ways, including mentoring, recruiting, advising,
guest speaking, and financial giving. Together, our alumni make Smeal a stronger, more vibrant
place, ultimately providing Life for Smeal.
E. Cross-Goal Themes
In this section, we identify several themes that emerged during the planning process and cut
across two or more of the strategic goals. These are “higher-order” initiatives that can be
implemented through standalone initiatives but some involve shifts not just in practice but also in
culture. Initiatives previously discussed may be the channel through which some of these themes
are realized in our community. Below is a discussion of several of the most apparent and
supportable themes. Where appropriate, additional action and investment around the themes are
also discussed. The chart below shows how these themes fit into the process and general
structure of the plan:
In the spring of 2007, a committee of faculty, administrators, and staff was tasked with exploring
how the college could foster a more student-centric learning environment from a perspective of
not having to adhere to a more traditional teaching paradigm.
It was realized early in the proceedings that shifting the lens on education from teaching to
learning is difficult at best. It demands a significant shift in culture, substantial faculty
involvement, and the use of new technology and non-technology tools to improve pedagogy. The
college’s programs require greater course integration and redesign with embedded and
continuous student input. Incremental, rather than radical, steps are needed to migrate from an
instructional to a learning culture within the Smeal environment; yet the committee concluded
that a balance must be struck between making sufficient commitment for a real and visible
difference while not risking any destructive failure.
The recommended goal was to have in place, within the strategic plan’s five-year period, the
foundations of a program to transform undergraduate learning. That means two to three
prototypes will be created and tried by faculty and student teams, plus a structure for
assessment and budgeting time, money, and other resources. The prototypes will use the
principles of the cognitive and learning sciences to convert students to active learners. Some of
these have already begun and are discussed in other parts of the plan or are part of other
initiatives such as assessment, also discussed in this plan.
The college has begun to lay out, and try out, a set of learning projects including: (1) teams of
students and faculty centered on learning initiatives such as quality in the classroom, (2) course
designs for problem-based and active learning, (3) a possible Leadership and Innovation minor,
and (4) curriculum reviews and advising innovations such as faculty departmental advising
liaisons in each academic unit. Initial feedback suggests that faculty, students, Board of Visitors
members, alumni, and University administrators are enthusiastic about the results and expanding
the scope and scale of these initiatives. This should result in a new level of excitement in the
potential of Smeal to be ranked as a top public undergraduate business program.
The position of a “Director of Learning,” an honor code, and a strategic plan for assessment are
all part of this theme and are discussed in other parts of the plan. It is truly a cross-discipline,
cross-goal, and integrative theme for the college in the strategic plan period.
Student Quality Teams. Smeal’s student
quality teams are groups of students in
classrooms (they are enrolled in the class) that Strategic Objective
assist the faculty member in feedback, design, “Learning” impacts all of our goods in various
and identifying learning opportunities. The ways. Focusing on what that means and how
college has prototyped 10- to 15-member quality learning can be sustained is a characteristic of
teams in various large classroom sections this a top program.
past year. We have trained enough quality team
leaders to operate a minimum of ten quality
teams this fall. A faculty committee has also been set up to oversee and expand the effort in the
coming year. The goal is a student-managed program with performance goals and continuous
monitoring of performance by the oversight committee. The ultimate goal is to involve 300 to
400 students per semester in quality teams.
International business (IB) is not a passing trend. It is a way of business life that permeates all
functions and sectors. Everything related to business today has a global dimension, and it is
incumbent upon the college to integrate this into the curricula, faculty research, and its dialogue
with society. This will allow us to build a community that is perceived internally and externally
as distinguished in the area of IB.
Rankings of business schools based on international offerings place Smeal fairly low. While we
are aware of the shortcomings of such rankings, it should be a cause for concern that the general
perception is that Smeal is well behind many of the “Top 5 Public” institutions, as well as several
Mid-Atlantic regional business schools.
Students of business need to understand how and why decisions made by companies,
governments, and other actors around the world affect business in the United States. One popular
indicator of a college’s emphasis on the importance of IB is whether it is offered as a major.
With respect to peer institutions, Smeal is in the bottom third (see examples in chart below).
Among the “Top 5 Public” programs, three (Indiana, Texas, and Wisconsin) have IB majors, and
among those that do not have majors (Berkeley, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Virginia), IB is
available as a concentration. Among other peer universities, while Smeal does offer a minor in
IB, the college lags behind many of these institutions in terms of certifying the importance of IB
as a course of study. Smeal’s proposed new major (Integrated Business Studies [see section IV])
will have an IB option and will allow students to take several IB courses, which will help to fill
International Business Requirements for Undergraduates at Peer Institutions
University International Requirement for all Major
Undergraduate Business Majors
Berkeley Two courses related to a single country No majors in UG business
other than the U.S. or two or more program; only concentration
countries (breadth/liberal arts option is Global Management
Michigan Fourth-term proficiency in a foreign No majors
language is one of four requirements from
which students choose three
UNC At least six credits must be earned in No majors, but IB is one of
international coursework or study. These four concentration options
credits count among the required business
or non-business electives.
Texas None IB is one of seven majors
Virginia COMM306 – Creating Business Value in No majors, but IB is one of six
the Global Community (one of seven concentrations
UCLA N/A – No undergraduate program
Indiana Six credit-hour International Dimension IB major (must be paired with
Requirement (satisfied by upper-level another major)
language, study abroad, IB, or area
Wisconsin Three semesters of foreign language IB major (must be paired with
One area where Smeal is in the forefront is in undergraduate students who study abroad. Students
have the option of studying at some 140 foreign locations, and almost 400 Smeal students do so
each year. Smeal provides about one-third of all University Park students who study abroad, and
almost 25 percent of Smeal students study abroad by the time they graduate. Our goal is to
increase that number to at least 33 percent by the end of the planning period.
One area of concern is that there is no IB core that defines Smeal in terms of teaching, research,
or community outreach. Undergraduate students take IB courses to fulfill the IB minor
requirements or as part of the two-piece sequence. Consequently, large numbers of students
graduate from Smeal with little (if any) exposure to IB. Faculty often do research in which the
IB component is secondary to the functional focus, and there is little in terms of financial or
publicity rewards for those who do emphasize IB in their research. Outside of the classroom and
faculty offices, there is little that Smeal does to highlight the IB-related work that is being done
or to build new relationships with stakeholders and the community to expand the importance of
Recommendations. Given the growing
importance of IB at Smeal and the University,
the college’s goal is to create a position at the
college level (e.g., Director for International
Education for leadership in a global economy
Business Programs), which would signal our must involve structured support for curricula,
growing commitment to IB as part of the experiences, and research. It is a basic “ante”
college’s strategic agenda. It will also facilitate for top programs.
our ability to coordinate the many pieces of a
strong international business program including
curricula, research, events, advising, study abroad, speakers, and more.
We also plan to establish the Smeal International Council. This will be an internal committee
that will coordinate all international programs and learning activities at the bachelor’s and
master’s levels. It will also have the responsibility to represent the college’s coordinated efforts
with the new international programs initiatives at the University.
The college is also in the process of reorganizing and expanding the Study Abroad Office as
well as its reach and range. Co-located in the Advising Office, the staff will have a separate, but
very public and accessible center of operations that will aggressively demonstrate our
commitment to place 500 study abroad students per year. Adjacent to this new office will be the
new International Center and Lounge. This will be a physical representation of our push to
welcome, engage, and integrate our international student population into the Smeal community.
Coined by a faculty member in the first strategic planning meeting in fall 2007, this term came to
be a rallying cry during the planning process. It is an articulation of much of what we have and a
reminder of what we need to consider as a community as we move toward “Top 5 Public” status.
Towering scholarship refers to a focus on having a community of top researchers and the support
that such a faculty needs—support that comes in many forms. It also means having a passion for
learning and sense of pride in the college’s quest to provide an extraordinary education. It means
leadership in making our goals a reality in our community and in our work lives as we strive to
achieve a top program status.
Having a theme of towering scholarship means
that we hire faculty, staff, and administrators
who believe in the multidimensional attributes
One of the best examples of a that define the term. They believe in making a
towering scholar at Smeal is difference through their research, instruction,
the late Michael H. Rothkopf,
Smeal Chaired Professor of
commitment, and leadership. They want
Supply Chain and Information students at all levels to succeed. Their research
Systems. Prior to joining is in line with the goal of making an impact on
Smeal in 2007, Rothkopf was the academy and our world. Their service is
on the faculty of Rutgers always geared toward helping scholarship to be
University since 1988, and
previously served on the
towering over our peers. Faculty are towering
faculty at the University of “scholars,” but literally everyone in the Smeal
California, Berkeley. His teaching and research Community can practice and promote towering
interests focused on applied mathematical scholarship—everyone can contribute in his or
modeling, auctions, applications of operations her own way to make it happen as a community
research, and energy economics. He was widely
published in journals dealing with management
value and a lens for hiring, rewarding, and
science, operations research, and economics, and action.
was a leading expert on the modeling of
Recognizing that towering scholarship comes in
competitive bidding. He also wrote opinion pieces
on electricity deregulation under the pen name many forms, the college will begin an annual
Price E. Watts. He served as president of the
Institute for Operations Research and the award for “Towering Scholarship”—one each
Management Sciences (INFORMS) and editor-in- for tenure/tenure-track faculty, fixed-term
chief of the INFORMS journal Interfaces. faculty, and staff. A significant cash award will
accompany the honor. Along with our existing
teaching, graduate assistant, and advising awards, these will be displayed in the Atrium of the
Business Building and be awarded in a formal, public event for the community and friends.
Over the last two years, the college has developed, piloted, and fully implemented an honor
code with our MBA students and has piloted the code at the undergraduate level over the last
year. This was a grassroots effort created out of a strong push by students as well as the Board of
Visitors and the expectations of recruiters. The following are more descriptive words on the
honor code from a spring 2007 open letter from students:
“We believe that all businesspeople should exemplify the highest standard
of ethics in their professional lives, and we want to encourage this high
standard in our actions and community culture at the business school. We
believe that explicitly stating these principles is the first step to living
them in our everyday lives. Therefore, in this academic year, we want to
implement the first phase of our ongoing effort to achieve an ethical
culture in the Smeal College of Business by installing an Academic Honor
By implementing the Academic Honor Code, the Smeal Community is firmly stating its intention
to live to the highest ethical standards. By taking this step:
• we want to be known as a program
where recruiters find the most ethical
The Smeal Honor Code
business leaders for their teams;
We, the Smeal College of Business community, • we demonstrate our belief that success is
aspire to the highest ethical standards and will hold only achieved through fair and ethical
each other accountable to them. We will not means;
engage in any action that is improper or that creates • we want anyone who considers joining
the appearance of impropriety in our academic
lives, and we intend to hold to this standard in our
this program, whether student, faculty,
future careers. staff, recruiter, or alumnus, to know that
we are a community of the highest
• we will not tolerate any form of cheating in our community;
• we want every member of the community to be accountable to every other member;
• we will better our future companies by lifting our expectations;
• we will not harm others in our path to achieve our goals;
• we recognize that the success of our program is directly related to how we act both in
school and after graduation.
Chaired by the dean, an Honor Committee was formed to work on the code, its processes, and
the related programs but, more importantly, to steer an effort to change and enhance the
expectations and culture of integrity in the college. The Honor Committee included faculty,
external advisers, administration, staff, and students at both the graduate and undergraduate
levels and was coordinated by a new position, the director of leadership integrity.
Over one and a half years, the committee has collected data, learned things, changed things, and
worked with students and faculty at individual, small-group, and programmatic levels to move
the code forward. This work has made a difference in the perceptions of the program by external
constituents and by the students themselves. Over this time period, the Honor Code
implementation in the MBA program (the initial site of the implementation plan) has been very
The changes that faculty will see is that students
will be involved in the sanction phase of honor
violations and there are many more places Strategic Objective
faculty and students can go to report, deal with, In the end, teaching and living integrity in
and get support for any honor violations. Our business is what a “Top 5” business school
new departmental faculty advisers, as well as the should be doing as a leader in education and a
Undergraduate Program advisers, have been developer of leaders.
trained to help as well. Students will not only be
involved in adjudication, but will also be available to help deal with any related issues. The idea
is to have a support network and a college-level campaign to help prevent cheating and its
negative effects in our classes, at the college, and beyond. This is all to set a platform for creating
an environment that reflects a concern, and prepares our students for the integrity expectations
they will encounter in the workplace. We believe it will pay off in many ways.
Faculty are asked to place the Honor Code text in their syllabi, reference it at the beginning of
the class, and support its essence throughout the semester as part of what a top business school is
all about. Faculty are also asked to treat it as important and not just “required” text that can be
read at the students’ leisure. Faculty members are also asked to relate the code to their class,
subject matter, and the careers their students hope to pursue. And, as mentioned above, the SRTE
has been amended to assess the implementation of the Honor Code in the learning experience.
In addition, we hold students accountable for signing the Academic Integrity Pledge on graded
deliverables and note this expectation in syllabi:
Academic Integrity Pledge
I, <Student Name>, affirm that I have neither given, received, nor witnessed
unauthorized aid on this deliverable and have completed this work honestly and
according to the professor’s guidelines.
A marketing campaign, letters to students and their parents, a
new Web site, student teams to speak in classes, and support
from many parts of the college are all efforts to help and show
students how the code helps to prepare them for the
expectations of their careers. We want students to “blink”
when they are confronted with the opportunity to cheat. We
want them to think about the consequences, not just our
sanctions, but for their careers. And we want our employers
and supporters to know that we are responding to national
reports that business schools lead in cheating—literature that
they have greatly noted.
For Smeal, the University’s fund-raising
campaign, “For the Future: The Campaign for
Penn State Students,” will allow us to pioneer Strategic Objective
new opportunities for tomorrow’s business Across all strategic goals for the college, it is
leaders. The campaign for a student-centered critical that we obtain funding to realize those
University will ensure that our students can goals. We have structured the new fund-
continue to learn from top experts and raising campaign to help accomplish that.
researchers, explore their own potential for
leadership and service, and make a difference in
their communities and the larger world. Within the University-wide campaign objectives, Smeal
has established goals to help ensure that we can be competitive with other elite business schools
in our approaches to education and research and what we see as “top” as outlined in this plan.
How those goals are organized is presented in the chart below. From a monetary perspective, the
goals for each of these campaign objectives and how they integrate with the strategic goals of
the college are presented in the graph below.
Campaign Objectives and Goals
Ensuring Student Opportunity
Students with the ability and ambition to attend the University will have this opportunity through scholarship
Enhancing Honors Education
Students of exceptional ability will experience the best honors education in the nation.
Enriching the Student Experience
Students will thrive in a stimulating atmosphere that fosters global involvement, community service, creative
expression, and personal growth.
Building Faculty Strength and Capacity
Students will study with the best teachers and researchers.
Fostering Discovery and Creativity
Students and faculty members will come together within and across disciplines to pioneer new frontiers of
Sustaining a Tradition of Quality
Students will continue to work and study with faculty whose scholarship is enhanced by continuing philanthropic
Smeal College of Business For the Future Campaign
Links to Vision and Strategic Goals
Smeal Goal: $107 million
Since its establishment in 1953, Smeal has
been on a positive trajectory, forging its
position as one of the country’s leading
business schools. In more recent years,
investments in our new Business Building,
student scholarships, and faculty
endowments have built a solid foundation
from which the college is well positioned
to take the next step and become one of the
“Top 5 Public” business schools in the
By focusing on providing extraordinary education, creating research with impact, building a
dialogue with society, and fostering a community with distinction, this vision is certainly
attainable. But achieving “Top 5 Public” status will depend on the support of the University, new
ways of thinking, and the passion of the Smeal Community.
We must continue to put forth curricula that challenge and serve as the foundation for an
education in a rapidly changing, global economy. Our faculty needs to include even more
“Towering Scholars,” who can break new ground in research that has an impact on industry and
society. In the classroom, they need to have the motivation to challenge our students and prepare
them to be players in the increasingly competitive and international marketplace.
Smeal’s staff must provide the kind of support to our faculty that frees them to focus on
excellence in teaching, research, and service. Staff members in marketing, development, alumni
relations, and corporate relations need to increase the college’s dialogue with outside
constituents to support the cross-goal themes that drive this plan.
We must engage our more than 65,000 alumni around the world, connecting them to the college,
our students, and our research centers. Through mentoring, recruiting, guest lectures, and
philanthropy, it is imperative that the college leverage one of its greatest resources to grow and
attain “Top 5” status.
Much of the groundwork is in place. To take the next step, we need to challenge traditional
assumptions, think about how to lead a “new” educational paradigm, and commit to the
investments necessary to be the top program that we are capable of becoming.
To assess success and/or need for refinement of the initiatives articulated in the plan, a series of
success indicators are briefly described below. A top manager will be responsible for monitoring
these metrics throughout the strategic planning period. Operationalization of some of the
indicators will have to be designed, others are ongoing, and still others are available through
University databases. While nearly all are quantitative in nature, there are qualitative overtones
and companion pieces to many.
Student/Faculty Ratio • Enrollment (goal: 5000)
• Net new faculty (goal: 20)
• F/S ratio
Professional Development • Creation of the Institute for Student Professional
• Successful proposal to Faculty Senate for Career
BA411 • BA411 Satisfaction Survey
• Student Quality Team reports
• Corporate Exchange event endowment (currently
• Implement IT and other learning supplements
New Major (Integrative Business • Successful Integrative Business Studies (IBUS)
Studies) major proposal to Senate
• Enrollment in major
o Number of study abroad
o Number of co-ops, internships
Learning Assessment • Learning assessment plan goal attainment
• Assessment of SRTE Smeal Honor Code and
course rigor data across college
• AACSB review of plan
• Innovation and Quality (IQ) Teams
o Number of students involved
o Number of students exposed
o Number of courses/faculty involved
• Interactive learning series
o Number of workshops
o Number of attendees
• Launch Learning@Smeal Web site
Extraordinary Education (continued)
Curricula • Assess undergraduate major curricula
• Implement undergraduate taskforce
• Conduct, interpret, and integrate MBA
• Impact of curricula on MBA student recruitment
(caliber) into program and placement upon
• Enrollment in the Master of Professional Studies
in Supply Chain Management program
• Plan for Master of Entrepreneurship
• Successful introduction of Master of Accounting
• Name Assistant Dean/Director of Learning
Research with Impact
Endowment Support • Number of endowed professorships
• Percentage of tenure-track faculty supported by
• Baseline and increase in average faculty
endowment package support
Research Evaluation • Development and implementation of new model
of research evaluation
• Establish “research active” designation and
• Establish weight/value of applied work toward
Doctoral Student Support • Stipend placement in comparison with top public
• Number of graduates placed in top 50 business
Dialogue with Society
Conveying Research • Link to Research Evaluation
• Expansion of Smeal communications and further
development of communication vehicles (e.g.,
Knowledge@Wharton - knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/)
Globalization • Identification of regional partner universities
• Number of new programs and initiatives with
strategic global partners
• Creation of Smeal International Council
Dialogue with Society (continued)
Information Technology Support • Effectiveness survey
• Implementation of learning technologies
• Level of faculty integration into classroom
• Endowment support
• Learning/RIIT Group Web site hits
• Workshops and attendance
New/Revised Units • Executive program income shifts and overall
• Establishment of Center for Sustainable Business
• Growth and funding of Center for Sports
Business and Research
Community with Distinction
Human Resources • New program development and enrollment
o New employee orientation program
o Career coaching and development
• Creation of formal succession planning program
• Establishment of employee recognition program
• Implementation of alternative work schedules
Student and Alumni Diversity • Number of recruits – faculty, staff, students
• Retention percentage – faculty, staff, students
• Curricula enhancement measurement utilizing
diversity content template
• Climate focus group attendance
• Diversity alumni financial support
Mentoring • SmealConnect
o Web site hits
o Number of friends
o Number of communities
o Value survey
Smeal for Life • Development of Smeal for Life brand
• Survey of alumni to assess impact
Current Top 5 Public Comparison
2007/2008 Academic Year
Indicators Berkeley North Carolina Michigan Texas Penn State Virginia Average of Current Top 5
Operating Budget $60,529,064 $59,300,000 $106,345,503 $78,820,985 $48,745,959 $64,632,216 $73,925,554
Business School Endowment $208,277,927 $149,444,000 $395,331,891 $235,006,242 $72,958,336 $475,192,376 $292,650,487
Participating Faculty (Full-time
headcount) 130 111 172 158 124 129 140
Undergraduate 647 657 1,069 4,442 5,492 654 1,494
MBA 534 568 868 574 174 760 661
Executive MBA 0 0 168 207 100 0 188
Special Master's 0 126 60 306 30 293 196
Doctoral 42 51 91 104 69 7 59
Total Full-Time Enrollment 1,223 1,402 2,256 5,633 5,865 1,714 2,446
Undergraduate Full-Time Enrollment to
Faculty Ratio 5.0 5.9 6.2 28.1 44.3 5.1 10.7
Total Full-Time Enrollment to Faculty
Ratio 9.4 12.6 13.1 35.7 47.3 13.3 17.5
The Smeal College of Business
Strategic Plan 2008-2012
Big Ten Comparison (excluding Northwestern)
2007/08 Academic Year
Average of Big Ten
Indicators Illinois Indiana Iowa Michigan State Michigan Minnesota Ohio State Penn State Purdue Wisconsin Schools
Operating Budget $51,264,000 $82,660,854 $36,029,531 $106,345,503 $82,490,308 $55,434,413 $48,745,959 $35,079,161 $56,054,827 $63,169,825 1
Endowment $77,778,000 $101,882,749 $85,072,918 $395,331,891 $150,881,660 $143,883,533 $72,958,336 $81,425,083 $143,266,530 $147,440,296 1
Participating Faculty 130 132 86 98 172 135 98 124 95 68 113
Undergraduate 2,748 4,184 3,891 2,816 1,069 1,866 4,970 5,492 2,746 1,449 2,860
MBA 209 368 134 868 216 261 174 281 224 320
Executive MBA 109 143 168 108 100 132
Special Master's 466 271 29 181 60 334 193 30 99 38 186
Doctoral 92 66 90 54 91 88 53 69 98 56 76
Enrollment 3,624 4,889 4,287 3,051 2,256 2,504 5,585 5,865 3,224 1,767 3,465
Time Enrollment to
Faculty Ratio 21.1 31.7 45.2 28.7 6.2 13.8 50.7 44.3 21.3 25.4
Faculty Ratio 27.9 37.0 49.8 31.1 13.1 18.5 57.0 47.3 26.0 30.8
Iowa excluded financial data, therefore averages are calculated without them.
Planning Unit Questionnaire
The elements of each unit’s strategic plan are presented below. Units were expected to provide
comment on each item but could go beyond these basic questions. The response format and the
process each unit used to arrive at answers/strategies were the choices of the unit.
1) In general, where do you want your unit to be in five years as it grows, reorganizes, and/or
changes to contribute to our vision of being a “Top 5 Public” school? Provide a brief
2) Reaching “Top 5 Public” status is achievable by each unit helping the college realize its
goals of providing an extraordinary education, engaging in and supporting research with
impact, having a dialogue with society, and living in a community with distinction (see
descriptions and suggested metrics above). Again, in general, how does your unit plan to
contribute to these goals?
3) While there are multiple ways of contributing to goal attainment (see descriptions and
examples), for each goal there are specific areas that you should address:
a) Extraordinary education. How will your unit promote/support rigor in our curriculum?
What program(s) in the department will be put into place/enhanced to promote the
quality of our instruction? What would make sense at the college level to help with that?
What is the role of information technology in promoting scaled, quality learning. If your
unit is not an academic department, how will you assist?
b) Research with impact. What expectations will you be articulating for hiring, retaining,
and rewarding faculty in terms of “Top 5 Public” research impact ? What will your
unit be doing to support productive faculty (e.g., identifying funding, providing other
support)? How will “non-academic” units contribute to helping faculty with their
research agendas (e.g., data, funding, access, etc.)?
c) Dialogue with society. How will your unit reach out to promote global business
thinking? How will your unit promote program and research integration with other
units/programs at PSU (e.g., joint/shared programs, faculty, processes, interdisciplinary
research agenda, etc.)? How will you involve those outside Smeal and the University
who could make a difference in achieving our vision (e.g., alumni, colleagues, industry)?
d) Community with distinction. What are your plans to support our honor code? How
will you incorporate diversity planning into your strategic plan? How will you promote
and strengthen your unit’s interaction with the campuses? How will your unit promote
a culture and environment that reflects a leading program and shows respect for all in the
4) Who do you consider to be your 3-5 “Top 5 Public” peers?
a) Why do you consider them to be “Top 5 Public”?
b) What are some of the specific processes, initiatives, goals, etc., that these benchmark
organizations are involved in that you would want to emulate to help meet our college
5) What are the new/different strategic actions beyond your top peers’ practices that you
would want to initiate to add value?
6) Overall, what are the critical investments that need to be made over the next five years to
propel your unit to a top status among your peers and push the college to a “Top 5 Public”
a) Why should these be a priority for the college?
7) What does a five-year strategic budget look like for these investments?
8) How will you measure the impact of these investments (i.e., what are the strategic
performance indicators and their metrics)?
9) What processes, programs, curricula, etc., should be abandoned, consolidated, and/or
relocated because they do not contribute to attaining our goals?
Initiatives in Progress
MBA Program Revision: Several changes are being implemented in the Smeal MBA
Program to improve rigor and further develop the skills sought by top firms.
Undergraduate Program Revision: The college is moving the business foundation courses
from the junior year to the first two years.
Honor Code: The college has developed, piloted, and fully implemented an honor code
with our MBA students and has piloted the code at the undergraduate level over the last year.
Online Degree/Courses: The college recently launched an online master’s degree
program in supply chain management and is in the process of identifying other online offerings.
Enrollment Management: Smeal is moving toward a 5,000 undergraduate enrollment
Faculty Growth: To achieve a student/faculty ration of 35:1 or lower with an enrollment of
5,000, the college needs to have approximately 150 full-time faculty members.
Ph.D. Student Stipend Increase: Doctoral stipends need to be on par with those of the top
public business schools, including support for research and conference travel.
Faculty Naming Endowments: Smeal must expand the number of endowed professorships
to cover all tenured faculty and increase existing endowments that provide only modest support.
Sapphire Leadership Program: A Smeal program designed to provide a special experience for
advanced students and those wanting to have additional challenges in their academic lives.
Women’s Conference: In spring 2008, Smeal hosted more than 300 students, alumni, and
business professionals for an inaugural conference celebrating women in business.
BOSS Program: In spring 2008, Smeal launched its two-week BOSS program for diversity
high school students interested in pursuing a business education.
Smeal Student Mentors: A program that assigns upperclassmen to freshman and sophomore
students to assist with academic and procedural problems and opportunities.
Undergraduate Research: Funded at both the University and college level, this program links
undergraduate students with faculty and their research.
Business Programs @ Penn State: Each semester, faculty and administrators from 19 Penn
State campuses meet to discuss curricula, learning opportunities, and other trends and issues.
Diversity Enhancement: Smeal is developing a database on underrepresented minority
alumni, creating an undergraduate diversity student peer-mentoring program, and forming a
tutoring and mentoring program for “change of location” students.
Executive Education Revision: Penn State Executive Programs is focused on developing
deep, long-term partner relationships; aligning fully with client organizations and their goals and
objectives; and matching faculty and content expertise to needs.
Research Center Matching and New Center Creation: In March 2008, Smeal launched a
new research center dedicated to the study of sports business and the college is currently
exploring the creation of a sustainability-focused research center.
New Development Campaign: Within the University-wide campaign objectives, Smeal has
established goals to help ensure that we can be competitive with other elite business schools in
our approaches to education and research and what we see as “top” as outlined in this plan.
Departmental Faculty Advising Liaisons: Smeal has appointed faculty departmental advising
liaisons in each academic unit.
Disciplinary Communities: A University-level program designed to link faculty at University
Park and faculty from across all of the campus colleges along disciplinary lines to help with
curricular and research efforts.
Proposal for a New Integrative Business Studies (IBUS)
There is demand amongst the students in the Smeal College for a new major that:
• Provides increased choice in course combinations while still providing a strong basis of
business knowledge via ‘core’ courses.
• Leverages complementary course offerings from outside the College into an innovative
• Allows students interested in specific areas, such as real estate, risk analysis, legal
studies, or global business, not thoroughly covered by the current College majors the
opportunity to focus study on these areas.
• Provides increased exposure to global perspectives of business studies.
• Utilizes the rigorous, high quality teaching of faculty in the Department of Insurance &
The Department of Insurance & Real Estate consists of 15 (clinical or tenure track faculty) with
varying teaching and research interests. In terms of teaching, the Faculty teaches highly
successful and popular classes to undergraduates, MBAs and PhD students. Many of these are
some of the most rigorous courses taught in the College, and faculty in the Department routinely
win teaching awards for their efforts. While the Faculty’s involvement with undergraduate
students is extensive via the minors and electives offered, the Department of Insurance & Real
Estate does not have a major of its’ own.
In order to address this issue, the Department formed a new major committee consisting of five
faculty members from different areas within the Department. The objective of the new major
committee was to develop a new major that:
• Leverages the teaching and course opportunities of the Faculty of the Department of
Insurance & Real Estate.
• Addresses the demands of the undergraduate students detailed above.
• Provides the Department of Insurance & Real Estate the opportunity to increase their
visibility to the undergraduate population.
• Allows for flexibility of teaching commitments amongst the Faculty as well as changing
make-up of the Faculty.
• Does not require extensive new resources at the time of major implementation.
The result of these efforts is a proposal for a new major entitled Integrative Business Studies
(IBUS). When coupled with the overall renewal of the undergraduate program, we believe that
this major will be an attractive new option in the offering of the Smeal College.
Overview of New Undergraduate Major. Students are expected to take the same
‘core’ classes required of all Smeal college majors. If the current undergraduate renewal effort
changes these requirements, the requirements of this major will adjust to reflect those changes.
These requirements leave the student with 24 credits (8 three credit courses) to be determined by
the specific major.
The proposed new major would divide those required courses into four areas.
Students are required to take at least 3 credits (1 course) at the 400-level in each of the four areas
and a total of 15 credits (5 courses) at the 400-level.
Risk Analysis: Take 6 credits (2 courses) in the following classes that study decision-making in
B A 427 Risk and Decisions (3)
B LAW 424 Real Estate Law (3)
B LAW 425 Environmental Law (3)
I B 403 International Business and National Policies (3)
INS 301 Risk and Insurance (3)
INS 405 Corporate Risk Management (3)
R EST 460 Real Estate Financial Analysis (3)
R EST 470 Real Estate and Capital Markets (3)
Business Institutions: Take 6 credits (2 courses) in the following courses that study specific
B LAW 346 Agency, Employment & Business Structure (3)
B LAW 444 Advanced UCC and Commercial Transactions (3)
I B 450 The Business Environment of Europe (3)
I B 497E Law & Economics of Africa's Development (3)
INS 415 INS 310W Property and Liability Insurance Market (3) [INS 410 is an Actuarial
INS 420 INS 320 Life and Health Insurance Markets (3)
R EST 301 Real Estate Fundamentals (3)
R EST 420 Analysis of Real Estate Markets (3)
Global & Integrative Perspectives: Take 6 credits (2 courses) in the following courses that
study business decision-making in a global environment or integrative approach.
BA 428 Simulations and Experiments for Decision-making NEW COURSE
B LAW 445 (W) Intellectual Property & Competition Law (3)
I B 303 International Business Operations (3)
I B 403 International Business and National Policies (3)
I B 404 Contemporary Issues in International Business (3)
I B 440 Globalization and Its Implications
R EST 450 International Real Estate Markets (3)
BA 429 The Biotechnology Industry NEW COURSE
Supporting Courses: Take 6 credits (2 courses) from the approved list of supporting classes.
Both courses must be within the same concentration area. See the attached list for some tentative
Students may satisfy this requirement by either:
• Taking 6 credits from a particular concentration area outside of the College.
• Taking an approved study abroad experience.
• Taking 6 credits from another department within the College with special approval.
Features of New Major. The Integrative Business Studies major was designed
specifically to meet the demands of the undergraduate students within the resources available to
the Departments. Some particular features are as follows:
• The major should be attractive to highly motivated students who seek an interdisciplinary
experience. Ideally, the Department would offer a substantial number of honors sections
in order to signal that this is a major that caters to high quality students.
• The major affords students substantial flexibility while still having a coherent theme and
requiring depth of study in specific areas.
• The major will be attractive to the students who desire more international/global
perspectives. This is an area where the College is behind relative to our peer institutions.
Students are also strongly encouraged to combine this course with a study abroad
• Students taking the major will be encouraged to seek an internship in an area consistent
with their concentration.
• The major can be supported by the Department’s current course offerings without
excessive upfront resource requirements. The course options within each category give
the Department the flexibility to adjust to changes in faculty teaching availability.
• The major is substantially different from any other major currently or formerly offered by
• The major will give the Department its own stake in the undergraduate programs offered
by the College rather than simply playing a service role to other majors.
• A similarly themed concept may provide the impetus for new efforts in the MBA and
• The many different research areas of faculty within the Department of Insurance and Real
Estate are equitably represented.
Concentration Areas. In addition to allowing the student to seek an interdisciplinary,
integrative experience students may decide to concentrate their studies in a particular area of
study. The following matrix provides suggested course sequences for students interested in
particular concentration areas. These are merely suggestion and student may take courses from
all concentration areas if they desire.
(Take two courses in each column)
Risk Analysis Institutions Perspectives
R EST 301
R EST 460 R EST 450(W)
Real Estate R EST 420
R EST 470
Risk INS 301 INS 415
I B 403
Management INS 405(W) INS 420
B LAW 424
Business B LAW 346 B LAW 445(W)
B LAW 425
Law B LAW 444
I B 303
Global I B 450 I B 404(W)
I B 403
Business I B 497E I B 440
Other BA 428
B A 427
Courses BA 429
A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State:
Executive Summary on Diversity from the 2004-2009 Smeal
The Smeal College of Business has created a diversity strategic plan in response to The
Pennsylvania State University Central Administration’s seven framework challenges to foster
diversity at Penn State. In the Smeal College, diversity covers a range of attributes, such as race,
ethnicity, geography, age, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, veterans, and socio-
To meet challenge one, developing a shared and inclusive understanding of diversity, the
college plans on continuing its distribution of diversity information, and discussions on diversity
issues with students. The dean and key staff members participate in targeted recruitment and
retention efforts, as well as communicating both the University’s and college’s diversity
initiatives with the faculty, executive committee, and management committee. In addition, the
Dean chairs the Diversity Advisory Committee, which has the charge to implement and monitor
the Smeal Diversity Plan.
Challenge two, creating a welcoming campus climate, will be addressed by first making an
assessment of the climate through a series of focus groups and surveys. In addition, the Dean will
continue to meet regularly with student groups to address concerns. The college will use all of
the information from these sources to understand how to make a more comfortable and
welcoming campus climate for the colleges’ diverse community. The new Business Building has
enhanced satisfaction with the environment by providing a welcoming atmosphere and by
hosting a variety of student focused events.
The third challenge, recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, will be accomplished
through utilizing the University’s and the college’s recruitment programs for undergraduate and
graduate students such as: high school recruiting events, scholars programs, case competitions,
student orientation, and alumni mentoring. The college will also continue to seek funding for
need based and merit scholarships.
Challenge four, recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, is being completed through
alliances between the college and the Affirmative Action Office and the Diversity Support
Center of the University. Using these sources with social and professional networks, the college
is identifying qualified underrepresented minorities for faculty and staff positions. Also, the
college is pursuing innovative and alternative strategies in response to the thin minority job
market. To help retain a diverse workforce, the college hosts several gatherings that bring
together minority faculty, Ph.D. candidates, and MBA students in informal settings for relaxed
interaction and networking. In addition, the college provides mentoring, encouragement,
counseling, and support for professional events.
To achieve challenge five, developing a curriculum that fosters intercultural and international
competencies, the college is continuously reviewing graduate and undergraduate curricula to
ensure the presence of diversity and international components in courses, as well as supporting
cross-linked diversity and international courses. The diversity components of freshmen and
MBA orientations will also be enhanced. The college also emphasizes its respect and value of
“diversity issues” research.
Challenge six, diversifying university leadership and management, will be achieved by
financial support and the release of time for faculty and staff to attend professional conferences
and workshops on leadership and management. Communication is encouraged between
department heads, faculty and staff to help generate interest in creating diverse applicant pool for
management and leadership positions.
The seventh challenge, coordinating organizational change to support our diversity goals,
focuses on strategic planning. The college will ensure that strategic updates and future strategic
plans will continue to emphasize diversity as one of its important strategic goals. Updates to the
college’s organization, such as a stronger global perspective, have been expanded, and additional
funds have been allocated for undergraduate scholarships, graduate assistantships, and a variety
of diversity recruitment and retention programs.
In the future, the college plans on continuing its diversity initiatives by monitoring current
programs and projects that are related to diversity. The complete diversity plan can be accessed
This publication is available in alternative media on request.
Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.